The Legacy Of Two Premiers 5,000km Apart

Posted November 27th, 2010 in Canada by Adrian MacNair

Photo: Jenny McCarthy, The Labradorian.

Maclean’s writer John Geddes mulls over the difference between two premiers who have stepped down this month: Gordon Campbell and Danny Williams. Focusing specifically on wringing concessions from Ottawa, Geddes observes that Williams was able to get 61 per cent more in federal transfer payments per capita than Campbell.

Newfoundland residents will receive $2,268 per person — at least that’s the theoretical value of the transfer payments — compared with the $1,385 for B.C. residents. As Geddes said, it might make sense for Newfoundland to get more because of relative wealth and economic circumstances. But according to Stats Canada the average weekly pay in Newfoundland was $798.82 in 2009, compared with B.C.’s $797.13.

That still doesn’t tell the whole story. Median total income by family type for 2008 was $67,890 in B.C. compared with $59,320 in Newfoundland. And the latest unemployment numbers shows B.C.’s unemployment rate fell to 7.4 per cent in October, compared with 13 per cent in Newfoundland for the same time period. Does this mean it makes sense for Newfoundland to get 61 per cent more than B.C. since it has a 57 per cent higher unemployment rate?

It may be important to crunch a few more numbers than that. Total unemployment is 33,800 in Newfoundland compared with 185,100 for B.C., which if put into this perspective means that B.C.’s need is five and a half times greater. And as much as 20 per cent of B.C.’s employment is sustained by part-time workers compared with 12 per cent for Newfoundland. Both provinces have an equal amount of full-time workers as a portion of their provincial total.

All of this would make sense with everything else being equal in cost of living. But those factors aren’t equal. It’s understood that at least 2.3 million people live in the Greater Vancouver Regional District, which has some of the highest cost of living prices in Canada. The housing market in Vancouver is widely considered to be the most expensive in the world.

But as one reader of the Macleans article points out, the elephant in the room is the Atlantic Accord that Danny Williams went to war with Ottawa over. Newfoundland’s 2010-11 transfer payments consist of $389 million from the 1985 Accord (down 30 per cent from 2008-09). Removing that total would bring payments down to $767 million and make per capita payments $1,500, which would be little more than the $1,385 received by B.C.

Put into this context, it isn’t that Newfoundland receives an inordinate amount of transfer payments from Ottawa. It’s that Newfoundland has fought to protect the Atlantic Accord.

Highway robber gets paid off by Ottawa

Posted August 26th, 2010 in Canada, International, united states by MarkOttawa

That’s Danny Boy of the Rock, according to Spector Vision:

Harper’s millions for Williams will cost Canadians billions

Lovable rogue, eh?


Arrow not a bullseye

Posted August 11th, 2010 in Canada, Uncategorized, united states by MarkOttawa

Take this from Chris Taylor (a lovely Blog, Taylor Empire Airlines) all mindless Canadian nationalists–many of them on the left who otherwise opposed and still oppose most of our military endeavours:

Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths

Surviving wing tips of the Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow, Storage Wing, Canadian Aviation Museum, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

DSC_4420, originally uploaded by GRB_Ott

Problem is, the tragic fable is almost entirely false…

Do read it all.  More from Publius:

…That good but not brilliant sense of ourselves breeds a strange envy (especially toward America) and uncertainly. Human beings need explanations, even bizarre ones. The “fall of the Arrow” became Exhibit A in trying to explain our not quite world class status.

Why the Diefenbaker government cancelled the Arrow project has been source of endless speculation for half a century. Explanations stretch from the conspiratorial – the jealous Americans forced the cancellation – to the contemptuous – our government was too stupid to realize the Arrow’s importance – the hum-drum reality has been conveniently ignored. It was a very good plane, just too expensive and impractical for the military needs of the time. The RCAF made a military decision that the project was unfeasible and asked the Cabinet to cancel the project, diverting funds to a more practical, albeit American, plane [see the photo here].

Looming over the discussions about the Arrow’s future, and referred to in some discussions of the fighter’s demise, was the widespread prediction that the manned fighter had been made obsolete by the unmanned missiles of the era. It was a grossly premature assessment, but not an absurd one for the time. The logical explanations, however, are not always the believed ones. It is far more comforting to imagine that the Arrow was a victim of that unfathomable force, whatever the preferred explanation, that has held back Canada, rather than to believe it died a bland and sensible bureaucratic death. For the generations of Canadians – including yours truly – that were raised on the Arrow Myth, to question that myth is to question a part of our Canadian childhoods. The questioners should expect no gratitude.

Predates, for Chris:

1) Imperial Airways :

2) Pan American:

More here. Plus a Newfoundland angle.


Sealing The Deal

Posted March 11th, 2010 in Canada by Adrian MacNair

Photo: Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff gives a thumbs up while eating a seal meat appetizer on Wednesday. By Chris Wattie / Reuters.

If there’s one thing that’s united many Canadians from all political stripes, it’s fighting back against the self-righteous, ignorant animal rights activists passing themselves off as the European Union. Practically all of Canada’s political establishment has spoken out for the rights of Canadian hunters to continue their long tradition of culling seals along the Gulf of St.Lawrence.

That season is almost upon us again, beginning in late March and the first or second week of April off Newfoundland. Canada’s largest export market for seal pelts has been Norway, but has also traded with Germany, Greenland, and China. As the pelts have lost their value due to negative animal rights campaigns, seal meat has begun to pick up as a strong market in Asia.

Prior to the 2009 European Union ban on Canadian seal products, total Canadian seal product exports were valued at $18 million Canadian.

On Wednesday, MPs and senators of all political parties joined for a luncheon in the House of Commons featuring seal. It is the first time that seal was featured on the menu in the 100 year history of Parliament Hill.

While the menu was meant as a means of promoting seal meat, it was also a slap to the face of the European ban. Inuit Canadians were recently snubbed at a G7 Finance Ministers summit in Nunavut when they featured a luncheon that was boycotted by the Europeans. Nunavut has since responded by threatening to ban European alcohol.

Michael Ignatieff has spoken out against the European ban before to the British media. In May of 2009 he told the Telegraph that the ban was misguided.

“We look at the culling of deer in Scotland and wolves in Europe by farmers and find it very frustrating to see this reaction to a carefully regulated and managed cull here, which is an economic mainstay of some of the poorest communities in Canada,” he said.

“Europe’s inability or refusal to see the seal cull for what is smacks of hypocrisy and misunderstanding.

“Paul McCartney, I love your music – but leave the seals to the people who know them. This is not marginal to us, this is very important.”

Unfortunately for Mr.Ignatieff, not everybody is playing ball. Liberal MP Mac Harb is taking his one-man fight to Parliament Hill in an attempt to pass a private member’s bill to ban the commercial seal hunt in Canada. Siding with the Humane Society International and a climate scientist, Mr.Harb warned that the seal hunt should also be cancelled because global warming has melted the sea ice off of the east coast of Canada.

Conservative Minister for Fisheries Gail Shea has urged Michael Ignatieff to reign in Mr.Harb.

“It is very unfortunate that the Liberal leader is allowing a member of his caucus to attack the seal hunt at a time when all Canadians should be united behind our sealers and behind our northern and coastal communities,” Ms. Shea said in the House of Commons on Monday. “I would also encourage the Liberals to take a clear stand on this issue. If they support Canadian coastal communities, then please stand up for them.”

But the seal ban has probably already done irreparable damage to the industry. Canadian seal exports were worth $9.7 million last year, nearly half the value of $18 million from 2006. This is bad news for the industry, particularly the Inuit, who have been hoping that seal meat exports would create a financial boom for Northern communities.

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Cannon To Rebuke Gadhafi. If He Can Get Past Charlie’s Angels

Posted September 25th, 2009 in Canada by Adrian MacNair

I was reading about Libyan fashion clown Moammar Gadhafi in the news today, and learned he’ll be landing for a one-day stopover in Canada on his way back to his third world abode. Mr.Cannon intends to meet the dictator and his 130-strong entourage, and scold him over the heroes welcome he gave to freed Lockerbie terrorist Abdel Baset al-Megrahi. Libyan underlings have been scouring the coast of Newfoundland to find a place to pitch his Bedouin tent [yes, his tent] while his plane refuels. Everything in the article seemed fairly normal, until I came upon this quote:

But there was concern the eccentric despot, who is protected by well-built female bodyguards, would try to refuse to see the foreign affairs minister.

Sorry, well-built “female” bodyguards? This demanded a google search:

The language is in Russian [I think], but the translation is as follows:

When the leader sleeps, the soldier stays awake, and it’s the women who do the fighting. Gaddafi trusts his security to ladies only. The head of the Libyan Jamahiriya has a total of 300-400 girls on his security detail. According to the official story, all of them are virgins. Selection is done by Gaddafi himself. This whim has an explanation for it: In ancient times, they believed that the best guards were either virgins or lesbians, the underlying belief being that they could sense threats, the so-called “wind of death.” The girls were even sterilized to make them more aggressive toward men. There can be different views on these stories, but it was the girls with Kalashnikovs who saved Gaddafi’s life several times. During the assassination, they shielded him from gunfire and grenades. One died, two others were wounded. The bodyguards are with Gaddafi day and night. Each of them can handle several strong men. According to some sources, most of the girls are Cuban.

So in other words, I think Larry has his work cut out for him.

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