Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Julian Fantino controversies.

Julian Fantino

Early Toronto career

Before joining the Metro Toronto Police, Fantino was a security guard at Yorkdale Mall in suburban Toronto. He volunteered as an Auxiliary Police Officer for the Metro Toronto Police from 1964 to 1969 and then joined the force as a Police Constable. He was a member of the Drug Squad and was promoted to Detective Constable. He subsequently served with Criminal Intelligence and then the Homicide Squad before being promoted to Divisional Commander and then Acting Staff Superintendent of Detectives.

 Wiretap controversy

According to an internal police report leaked in 2007, Fantino, as superintendent of detectives in 1991, had ordered a wiretap of lawyer Peter Maloney a police critic and friend of Susan Eng, chair of the Toronto Police Services Board, the body overseeing the Toronto Police service. Conversations between Maloney and Eng were illegally recorded despite a court order that only the first minute of Maloney's conversations were to be monitored so as to determine whether the individual who he was talking to was on the list of those being investigated.[7][8]


After 23 years of service with the Metro Toronto Police, Fantino left to accept an appointment as Police Chief of London, Ontario in 1991.

 London Police Service chief (1991-1998)

In London, he presided over the highly publicized and controversial "Project Guardian", which saw the arrests of over two dozen gay men for involvement in a purported child pornography ring.[9] While several men were eventually convicted of crimes not related to the stated purpose of the investigation, such as drug possession and prostitution, no child pornography ring was ever found.

Journalist Gerald Hannon later published a piece in The Globe and Mail accusing Fantino of mounting an anti-gay witch hunt.[10] In response, Fantino filed a complaint with the Ontario Press Council, which ultimately ruled that the Globe should have more clearly labelled Hannon's article as an opinion piece.

Fantino says that he is "not anti-gay or homophobic" and was simply arresting lawbreakers engaging in "a sick, perverted crime".[11]

 York Regional Police chief (1998–2000)

Fantino return to the Greater Toronto Area as Chief of York Regional Police in 1998. His tenure was brief and he returned to the Toronto Police Service two years later. He was succeeded as chief by Robert Middaugh.

Toronto Police Service chief (2000–2005)

 Policing controversies

An incident in September 2000 involving five male police officers entering a women's bath house sparked public outrage and drew attention to TPS's poor standing in the gay community.[12] In 2004, Fantino made an attempt to repair relations, primarily by appearing on the cover of fab in a photo which featured him posing in his police uniform with five other models dressed as the Village People standing behind him.[13]

Fantino appeared to have little patience for protesters: he wanted them to ask police for permission before holding demonstrations. In one report, he commented "a problem is now arising where portions of the public believe that Dundas Square is a public space." [14] In his new position with the OPP, Fantino took an aggressive posture with a native protest blocking a major highway: he stated he "would not/could not tolerate the 401 being closed all day." However the commander on site decided against a raid as "[he was] not about to put people at risk for a piece of pavement." [15]

In 2003, Fantino criticized the effectiveness of the Canadian gun registry.[16]

 Corruption scandals

Fantino came under increasing scrutiny due to three corruption scandals which broke out during his tenure and his handling of those incidents. Fantino was accused of having tried to deal with these cases out of public view and attempting to shield them from investigation by outside police services.

In one case, drug squad officers are alleged to have beaten and robbed suspected drug dealers. In another, plainclothes officers were charged with accepting bribes to help bars dodge liquor inspections. In the third, a group of officers who advocated on behalf of a drug-addicted car thief faced internal charges.

Two of these cases involve the sons of former police chief William McCormack, and came to light not as a result of investigations by Toronto police, but due to an RCMP investigation into gangster activity which inadvertently uncovered evidence of wrongdoing by Toronto police officers. Mike McCormack was later cleared of all wrongdoing due to a lack of evidence.[17]

In December 2009, Fantino was accused during a related court case of having "unplugged" a special task force investigating corruption charges against the Toronto Police Service's narcotics squad ignoring the task force's suspicions that another of the force's drug squads was corrupt. Lawyer Julian Falconer argued in court that "When Chief Fantino declared there were only a few bad apples, he did not deliver the straight goods," and shut down the investigation before it expanded as part of a damage control campaign.[18]

In March 2005, the CBC announced that they had obtained documents via the Access to Information Act showing that between 1998 and 2005 Toronto had spent $30,633,303.63 settling lawsuits against police. Norm Gardner said the settlement costs, which amount to about $5-million a year over six years, were expected, given the number of confrontations police face, suggesting that "people think they are going to get paid off."

 Contract expiry

Fantino's contract as police chief expired on February 28, 2005. On June 24, 2004, the police services board announced that it would not be reappointing Fantino due to a 2-2 tie. This was controversial since chair Norm Gardner had been suspended from the five-man board due to a conflict of interest ruling, but as he refused to vacate his seat the three required votes for renewal were far more difficult to obtain. Conservative politicians on Toronto City Council responded with a "Save Fantino" campaign, and the board was deadlocked on the issue of beginning the search for Fantino's replacement.

Many Fantino supporters claimed that Miller was openly hostile to Fantino. Miller had ignored calls to pressure the police board after it voted against Fantino's renewal, yet Miller subsequently contacted the board looking for a role in hiring the next police chief, although the latter request was not granted.

Former deputy police chief Mike Boyd took over as interim chief of police on March 1, 2005. On April 6, another former deputy chief, Bill Blair, was named Fantino's permanent successor.

 Commissioner of Emergency Management (2005–2006)

On February 8, 2005, Fantino was appointed Ontario's commissioner of emergency management by Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty. This move was criticized by the opposition parties in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, both for the lack of transparency in the hiring process and for the perception that the appointment was primarily motivated by the desire to avoid having Fantino run as a Progressive Conservative candidate in the 2007 provincial election against Finance Minister Greg Sorbara. However, Sorbara had also blamed Miller for failing to renew Fantino's contract, so this appointment could have also been seen as the Ontario Liberals' show of support for Fantino.

 Ontario Provincial Police commissioner (2006-2010)

Fantino was appointed Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police replacing the departed Gwen M. Boniface on October 12, 2006 by the provincial Liberal government; initially for a two year term. His appointment was criticized by First Nations groups. In March 2008 his contract was extended until October 2009.[19] In June 2009 his contract was further extended until July 2010 so that he could oversee the province's security contingent at the 2010 G8 Summit in Huntsville, Ontario. The province will begin the search for his successor in January 2010.[3]

He has received much public attention over highly publicized child pornography busts, with 21 men arrested in February 2008 and 31 men (some as young as 14) arrested in February 2009.[20] None of the cases has come to trial to date. During his term, Fantino has changed the look of the OPP by ordering that the livery for police cruisers be changed to a 1960s era black and white pattern.

 Shawn Brant controversy

Fantino was criticized by lawyer Peter Rosenthal during the trial of aboriginal activist Shawn Brant. Fantino was criticized for ordering wiretaps of Brant's phone without proper authority and for making provocative comments to Brant during negotiations to end a blockade of the rail line west of Kingston.[21] NDP MPP Peter Kormos called for Fantino's resignation accusing him of using "pugnacious and bellicose" rhetoric and for engaging in "Rambo-style policing."[22] In the face of defence motions for the police to disclose more evidence about their conduct the Crown agreed to drop the most serious charges against Brant in exchange for a plea bargain resulting in a light sentence.[23] Fantino was also criticized for his role in the Caledonia land dispute after he was accused of sending e-mails to local politicians accusing them of encouraging anti-police rallies by non-Natives.[24]

 Internal discipline hearing controversy

In late 2008 and early 2009, Fantino was embroiled in a controversy surrounding his role in an internal discipline case at the OPP in which Fantino was accused of being petty and vindictive in his actions against the officers.[25] Fantino ordered a hearing into the matter but attempted to remove the adjudicator he had appointed on the grounds that the judge was biased against the commissioner due to critical comments he made during testimony by Fantino. Divisional Court rejected Fantino's request.[26] The Ontario Court of Appeal upheld the lower court decision saying an informed person viewing the matter realistically and practically would not conclude there was any apprehension of bias on the part of the adjudicator. The OPP dropped the disciplinary case against the two officers on December 15, 2009, the same day Fantino was due to be cross examined[27] by defence lawyer Julian Falconer.[28] The entire process cost more than $500,000 in public money.[29]

 Private prosecution charge for influencing or attempting to influence an elected official

Fantino was summoned in early January 2010 to face a charge of influencing or attempting to influence an elected official in April 2007 in Haldimand County, Ontario. The summons came after a December 31 Ontario Superior Court order demanding a formal charge be laid in relation to allegations against Mr. Fantino brought forward by a private complainant, Gary McHale, who alleged that Fantino was illegally influencing or attempting to influence municipal officials in regards to the Caledonia land dispute.[30] The charge against Fantino was stayed in February 2010 as the Crown said there was no reasonable prospect of conviction

Monday, November 29, 2010

Good news! : Blind woman wins case against federal government.

Blind woman wins case against federal government

CBC News

Donna Jodhan successfully sued the federal government because she was unable to apply online for a government job.

A blind Toronto woman who sued the federal government because she is unable to apply online for a government job has won her case.

A Federal Court judge in Toronto ruled Monday that the government has 15 months to make its websites accessible to visually impaired users.

Donna Jodhan, a special needs consultant who has certified skills with Microsoft and Novell programs, as well as a master's degree in international business and finance from McGill University, launched the constitutional challenge in September.

Take our survey. Government lawyers had argued there was no discrimination because those same services are provided in other formats, such as on the phone, in person or by mail.

The American White House website is outfitted with transcriptions, audio clips and captions. Jodhan said the Canadian government should do the same with its web pages.

"One of the saddest things is that government has spent a lot of money fighting this case," she said at the time. "Why are you fighting me on this? Why are you spending taxpayers' money?"

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/politics/story/2010/11/29/blind-woman-federal029.html#ixzz16hgzFCGI

Leslie Nielsen dies at 84. :(

Leslie Nielsen dies at 84; serious actor became a comic star

The Canada native, who seemed perfectly cast as a handsome leading man when he came to Hollywood in the 1950s, had career-changing roles in the 'Airplane!' and 'Naked Gun' comedies.

Leslie Nielsen, who starred in multiple spoof movies including "Wrongfully Accused," has died. He was 84.

 Leslie Nielsen

November 29, 2010

Leslie Nielsen, a serious actor who became a comic star with his career-changing roles in "Airplane!" and "The Naked Gun" comedies, died Sunday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He was 84.

Nielson died of complications from pneumonia at a hospital near his home, surrounded by his wife, Barbaree, and friends, his agent, John S. Kelly, said in a statement.

In "Airplane!," the 1980 send-up of just about every disaster movie plot imaginable, Nielsen as Dr. Rumack was "an essentially serious actor taking essentially preposterous material very straight," wrote Times Arts Editor Charles Champlin in his review.

Just how preposterous was it?

As the crew and passengers became ill, Nielsen said they needed to get the sick to a hospital.

"A hospital? What is it?" a flight attendant asked.

Nielsen: "It's a big building with patients, but that's not important right now."

And when Nielsen was told, "Surely you can't be serious," he answered: "I am serious, and don't call me Shirley."

Nielsen followed up "Airplane!" with another goofy role delivered with deadpan conviction as Frank Drebin in the "Police Squad!" television show and "Naked Gun" movies.

It was quite a career shift for an actor who seemed perfectly cast as a handsome leading man when he came to Hollywood in the 1950s, already a veteran of live television appearances.

A typically serious early role was as the spaceship commander in "Forbidden Planet, " the 1956 science-fiction classic. "It's the reason I was never asked to do 'Star Trek' or 'Twilight Zone' for TV," he told the Toronto Star in 2002. "I carried too much baggage with me from that movie."

Nielsen played Debbie Reynolds' sweetheart in the 1957 film "Tammy and the Bachelor," was the Revolutionary War fighter Francis Marion in the Disney TV adventure series "The Swamp Fox" and had roles in such TV series as "The New Breed" and "Bracken's World."

"I just always worked," he said. "I played a lot of leaders, autocratic sorts. Perhaps it was my Canadian accent."

Nielsen also was captain of the doomed ocean liner in the 1972 disaster movie "The Poseidon Adventure."

All the while he "was a closet comedian," he told The Times in 1991.

Then "Airplane!" changed his career.

Producers-directors-writers Jim Abrahams and David and Jerry Zucker hired Nielsen and other veteran actors Robert Stack, Peter Graves and Lloyd Bridges, all perfectly cast to spoof their own heroic and very serious images.

"I will be forever grateful to them," Nielsen told The Times in 1991. "It is just an amazing roll of the dice. I am so lucky to be a representative of their humor."

Nielsen then was cast in "Police Squad!," which aimed to do to cop shows was "Airplane!" did to disaster movies.

It lasted all of six episodes on ABC, but Nielsen moved on as Drebin to the 1988 movie "The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!," with George Kennedy, O.J. Simpson and Priscilla Presley among his co-stars. Its success led to two sequels.

"Leslie has the idea to play it maybe not straight but deadly serious," David Zucker told the L.A. Daily News in 1994. "You can take any one performance and just transfer it from a comedy to a drama. There's just no difference — that's what he can do."

Nielsen was born Feb. 11, 1926, in Regina, Saskatchewan. His father was a Royal Canadian mounted police officer and one of his brothers became a deputy prime minister of Canada.

He joined the Royal Canadian Air Force after graduating from high school and after the service studied at a Toronto radio school operated by Lorne Greene — who would become a TV star with the series "Bonanza"— before moving to New York to start working in television.

Nielsen's later movies included "All I Want for Christmas" in 1991, "Dracula: Dead and Loving It" in 1995, "Spy Hard" in 1996 and "Mr. Magoo" in 1997.

He also toured with his one-man show on the life of defense lawyer Clarence Darrow.

Nielsen had two daughters and was married three times previously, according to the Associated Press. A complete list of survivors was not available.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Jacqueline Bigar Horoscope for Saturday, Nov. 27, 2010.

IF TODAY IS YOUR BIRTHDAY: This year, your ability to communicate and express yourself becomes a salient feature. You often share a lot in order to get clarification, but still wonder what you just heard. Your family and home life develop a rich, dynamic tone. If you are single, you could meet someone of romantic significance in 2011. This relationship will have flash and energy. If you are attached, you will discover the excitement of a new venture with your significant other. The more different this happening or decision might be, the better the end results. Leo opens up to you.

BORN TODAY: Actor Jaleel White (1976), American royalty Caroline Kennedy (1957), singer Eddie Rabbit (1941)

ARIES (March 21-April 20)

Express your energy and ingenuity when making plans with a child or loved one. Whether going off on an adventure or following through on an important plan makes little difference. Excitement paves your way. Tonight: Enjoy every moment.

TAURUS (April 21-May 20)

Honour a sense of fatigue, even if a friend or loved one wants to get you motivated. You might not have the whole story regarding a critical situation involving an authority figure. A friend simply doesn’t have the facts. Tonight: Close to home.

GEMINI (May 21-June 21)

Rethink what has been a tough relationship. You reach out for those at a distance, but don’t forget a commitment to someone close, perhaps an older relative. Have a long-overdue talk over a leisurely meal. Tonight: At a favourite spot, with favourite people.

CANCER (June 22-July 22)

Be careful how extreme you get. You could overindulge quite naturally in one area or another. Do try to squeeze in a walk or some other form of exercise. News from a distance could be surprising. Tonight: Your treat.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)

You cannot and will not be held down. Let your imagination combine with another person’s inspired vision. You learn that nearly anything is possible. Someone of interest will come toward you without that additional nudge. Trust yourself. Tonight: Know that you are top dog.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

Know when to kick back and let others do the work. Often, you do too much, making others feel like you think they are incompetent. Don’t push a family member too far. Follow the same advice with key relationships. Tonight: Keep plans mum.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23)

Keep your objectives in your mind’s eye. You’ll be less likely to be tossed off course. You know where you are going and what is important. Count on the energy, though a jolt of some sort could toss you off your path — for a while. Tonight: Act like it is any other night of week.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 22)

Others seek you out, wanting to know what your plans might be. Realize that an element of confusion in your domestic life and with friends could make revealing plans close to impossible, as you don’t know them yet. Tonight: A force wherever you are.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23-Dec. 21)

Your incredible ideas make it impossible not to enjoy plans you make. Just go with spontaneity. Will others enjoy them? Only time will tell. Remember, there are differences in all of us. Tonight: Follow the music.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)

You’ll gain a great deal of insight about a partner just by relaxing and letting this person call the shots. (He or she wants to anyway.) Your sense of humour mixed with understanding could make this day more exciting than anticipated. Tonight: Visit with others.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 21-Feb. 19)

You often find a key person in your life nearly magnetic. Once more, this person casts a haze around you, as you enjoy every minute. Don’t over-indulge, as there could be ramifications later. That doesn’t mean not to enjoy yourself. Tonight: Where the action is.

PISCES (Feb. 20-March 20)

Invite others over for a mellow get-together. You hear news that on one level delights you but on the other surprises you. Know that you might not be reading this person correctly. Work with a partner, not against him or her. Tonight: Play it easy.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

CRTC gives green light to Sun TV... AKA Fox News North!

CRTC gives green light to Sun TV

 Quebecor Inc.’s (QBR.B-T36.720.100.27%) bid to create a new 24-hour news channel in Canada has taken another step toward the TV dial. On Friday, the federal broadcast regulator approved the license application for the Sun TV News Network.

The approval had been expected since last month, when the Montreal-based company adjusted its application to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, to request a standard license for a specialty channel.

The upcoming channel has been surrounded by some controversy, including an online activist group that objected to its launch.

The controversy led to the resignation in September of the head of the project and former spokesperson for the Harper government, Kory Teneycke. Mr. Lavoie – a former spokesman for Brian Mulroney and close associate of Quebecor chief executive officer Pierre Karl Péladeau – took the reins at Sun TV after Mr. Teneycke left in an attempt to “lower the temperature” of the debate.

“When people made the comparison, calling us Fox News North, they were totally mistaken,” Mr. Lavoie said on Friday. “The philosophy behind this was not to be Fox News ... it was to be an offshoot of the Sun Media culture.”

That includes mimicking the “irreverent” and “provocative” tone of the Sun newspapers Quebecor owns, he said. Sun Media journalists will also be expected to contribute to the network, shooting video and doing on-air commentary while working on stories for the paper. (Sun TV is a joint partnership of Quebecor divisions Sun Media Corp., which publishes newspapers across the country, and TVA Group Inc., which runs its broadcast operations.)

But Mr. Lavoie acknowledged the channel did take some inspiration from Fox News in its mix of reporting and punditry. The channel plans news reports during the day, with more commentary in the prime time hours, beginning at 5 p.m.

Sun TV has already hired conservative activist and Sun newspaper columnist Ezra Levant; former Canwest (now Postmedia) reporter David Akin; current Corus talk radio host Charles Adler; and former CBC reporter Krista Erickson, among others. More hiring announcements are on the way, Mr. Lavoie said.

The company is currently constructing the network’s main studio, in downtown Toronto close to the Toronto Sun offices, which will also house a second studio. Others will be built in Ottawa, Calgary, and likely Edmonton.

Sun TV had originally requested a license that would obligate cable and satellite companies to carry it on their services. That was rejected; and Sun TV tried again, asking for a standard license with the exception that distributors would have to offer it to customers on at least one of their packages, in the first three years. In early October, Mr. Péladeau said the company would withdraw that request, and ask for a standard Category 2 license.

“We welcome a diversity of voices. We want to have as much news out there as possible, as many different voices,” CRTC chairman Konrad von Finckenstein said on Friday. “As a Category 2 license, there’s absolutely no problem. If their original application had been in this format, we would have sent it [the license] to them by return mail, basically.”

In a statement, Mr. Péladeau welcomed the CRTC decision, calling it “the dawn of a new era for Canadian news media.”

Friday, November 26, 2010

G20 Police officers not at fault for injuries during protests: SIU.

Brendan Latimer was knocked down by a herd of fellow protesters during a G20 demonstration at Queen’s Park.

Lying on the ground, police moved in and arrested the delivery worker. That’s when one of the officers allegedly struck him in the face, causing a fracture.

The 19-year-old’s case is one of six from the June G20 summit that has been probed by Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit.

On Thursday, the agency announced no charges will be laid against police officers for injuries to civilians during the G20 protests.

In Latimer’s case, the agency interviewed nine witness officers from the Toronto Police Services as well a civilians. SIU director Ian Scott concluded that while there was “reasonable ground” to believe excessive force was used, they were unable to tell which officer caused his injuries.

“I’m let down, I’m very frustrated,” said Latimer, who says he also suffered two broken ribs and a deep cut to his head.

“They spent all this money installing cameras and surveillance devices . . . I’m enraged that they could use that stuff to catch protesters but not to catch police.

“It just seems like a double standard,” he added.

The SIU has a mandate to probe incidents involving police that result in death, allegations of sexual assault or serious injury.

Frank Phillips, an SIU spokesperson, said that only six complaints from the G20 were investigated by his agency because, “these cases met our mandate of serious injury.”

Dorian Barton, 29, was at a demonstration near University Ave. and College St. when he turned around to take pictures of mounted police officers with his cellphone. He was allegedly taken to the ground by a male anti-riot officer and suffered a fracture to his right arm.

Like Latimer, the officer could not be identified. Scott also said that Barton could not fully explain how the injury occurred.

“I ended up suffering a lot because of what happened to me and it’s frustrating no one is going to be held accountable,” said Barton.

In another incident, a YouTube video titled “Toronto G20, Peaceful Protester Tackled and Roughed Up,” shows Adam Nobody being chased by a group of about six uniformed police officers.

He is then tackled to the ground.

Because the officers all wore identical helmets and uniforms, it was impossible to identify which one is responsible for causing a fracture below Nobody’s right eye, said Scott.

Two officers were identified as having something to do with the incident, but exercised their rights, declining an interview with the SIU.

Nobody, 27, also alleged that two plainclothes officers took him behind a van, and repeatedly kicked him in the head. Scott said he found “no corroborative evidence.”

“It’s disappointing that the SIU felt that they were unable to get sufficient evidence to lay charges against any of the officers given the fact that all six of the complainants investigated did receive serious injuries,” said Toronto lawyer Peter Rosenthal.

“One would have thought the SIU would have been able to identify some of the officers.”

The Star recently ran a series of investigative reports examining a lack of results and accountability for police officers probed by the SIU over two decades. The series, “Above the Law,” found evidence that Ontario’s criminal justice system heavily favours police and concluded that officers are often treated far differently than civilians when accused of shooting, beating and running over and killing people.

“The record of the SIU has not been very good at pursuing charges against officers who have seriously injured people,” added Rosenthal.

Norm Morcos, whose complaint was also being investigated, said he wasn’t surprised. But not because the SIU was ineffective.

“The (SIU) officers I was dealing with were diligent and motivated,” said Morcos, who suffered a hand fracture, possibly from a police baton, while being corralled at Queen’s Park during the summit.

“I did not think that it would be likely that police officers would come forward and identify themselves as having contributed to my injury,” he said.

Toronto Police Association President Mike McCormack said it’s important to remember there were officers from across the country who came in to police the G20, “not just ours.” Responding to the SIU’s conclusions, he said: “Mr. Scott put it the best. There was insufficient evidence for him to the lay the charges.”

For Brendan Latimer, it’s all very frustrating.

“Just to know that they can say ‘Yes, we know this happened, but there’s nothing we can do about it,’ ” he said.

“If they can’t do anything about it, who can?”

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse will try to block the Canada Revenue Agency's efforts to obtain volumes of client records as Ottawa cracks down on Canadians suspected of hiding money overseas.

MONTREAL — Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse will try to block the Canada Revenue Agency's efforts to obtain volumes of client records as Ottawa cracks down on Canadians suspected of hiding money overseas.

Bank officials tell QMI Agency it won't hand over 500 boxes of documents because it's not required to do so under Canadian law. Credit Suisse adds the Canadian government's request is too broad, and it has filed an injunction in Toronto Federal Court to stop the request.

"Canadian law requires certain conditions to be met before CRA can issue such a request and we do not believe that those legal conditions have been satisfied," the bank said in a statement. "Furthermore, we are very concerned about the personal and financial privacy interests of our clients."

The bank says no money was ever hidden in Credit Suisse accounts, though a Canadian citizen has confessed to sheltering money from tax officials after transferring it from the bank.

The client told tax officials that he conducted the transaction on advice from a financial adviser at another bank. Credit Suisse shut down its Canadian private banking offices in 1998.

CRA has until Saturday to tell the court if it will contest Credit Suisse’s injunction. A department spokesman had no comment Tuesday.

A total of 3,000 Canadians have admitted to tax evasion since last year and have paid out $138 million. Most said they hid money overseas through the UBS and HSBC banking groups.

Reports say another 1,800 Canadians might be hiding millions in Switzerland.

Under Swiss law, Swiss banks can't be forced to reveal the names of Canadians who hold accounts in the European country. Canada can ask about specific account holders but only if it assembles evidence in Canada of possible wrongdoing.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Stephen Harper signed a treaty with his Swiss counterpart to allow the two countries to exchange tax information for future tax years.

The deal will apply to individuals who earn taxable income in either country.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

More than 50 federal government agencies and departments rely on long-form census data .

More than 50 federal government agencies and departments rely on long-form census data on ethnic origins, visible minorities, citizenship and immigration for planning and policies, according to a newly released internal report.

In the documents, Statistics Canada says more than 700 different clients bought reports or data based on the 2006 census, including 297 government bodies from all levels, 232 businesses, 66 non-profit organizations, 54 health and social service agencies and 62 educational institutions.

In June, the government announced it was replacing the mandatory long-form census with a voluntary National Household Survey (NHS).

"Statistics Canada is confident that the NHS will produce usable and useful data that will meet the needs of many users," the agency says in the documents. "It will not, however, provide a level of quality that would have been achieved through the mandatory long-form census."

Among the federal departments and agencies that reported purchasing Statistics Canada reports or using data based on the census questions about ethnic origin and immigration are Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Status of Women, National Defence, Canada Revenue Service, Citizenship and Immigration, the Bank of Canada, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.

Included among the approximately 60 agencies and departments that said they had not made use of the data are the National Research Council, Correctional Service of Canada, Environment Canada, Passport Canada, Canadian International Development Agency, Export Development Canada, Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Canadian Transportation Agency and VIA Rail Inc.

The documents were released this week in response to questions tabled in the House of Commons in September by Liberal MP Ruby Dhalla.

"There is going to be a great void with the scrapping of the long-form census," Dhalla said. "I think it's going to have an impact on many diverse communities across Canada, and most importantly, have an impact on ethnic communities in Canada."

The Bank of Canada reported using long-form data to track Canadian migration patterns during economic changes. Health Canada employs it to assess well-being in First Nations communities, while the Public Health Agency relies on this information to target services to clusters of immigrants or particular ethnic groups. The Canada Student Loan Program uses this census data for demographic analysis of post-secondary enrolment, and the Department of Justice uses it to tailor studies on elder abuse to different ethnic populations.

Many agencies and departments said they use the census data to evaluate whether their employee demographics are in line with the Canadian population and employment equity rules.

The biggest impact of replacing the mandatory census with a voluntary survey will be "non-response bias," or the fact that people who don't respond tend to have different characteristics than those who do, Statistics Canada says — meaning that a voluntary survey won't be representative of the Canadian population.

"Given that the NHS is anticipated to achieve a response rate of only 50 per cent, there is a substantial risk of non-response bias," the agency says in the documents.

Statistics Canada says it has never conducted a survey on the scale of the NHS, nor does it know of any country that has, so it's "largely unknown" how effective its efforts to mitigate these and other issues will be.

Read more: http://www.canada.com/technology/Dozens+federal+departments+agencies+count+census+Report/3857519/story.html#ixzz16Aj7Y6YO

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Many Canadians believe the Supreme Court made the right decisions on two recent cases, but question a ruling related to the legal rights of suspects who are being interrogated, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

Canadians Disagree with Court on Interrogations Without Legal Counsel

Most respondents agree with the way the Supreme Court handled the cases related to journalistic sources and sexual abuse by a priest.

Many Canadians believe the Supreme Court made the right decisions on two recent cases, but question a ruling related to the legal rights of suspects who are being interrogated, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample of 1,014 Canadian adults, 76 per cent of respondents agree with the decision taken by the Supreme Court on the case of Shirley Christensen.

The Supreme Court ruled last month that Christensen—a Quebec woman who was sexually abused as a child at the hands of a priest—can launch a lawsuit against the Catholic Church.

Two-thirds of Canadians (65%) agree with a recent decision that looked into the issue of journalistic sources. The Supreme Court ruled that journalists have a qualified right to protect their confidential sources, if such protection outweighs the public interest in the disclosure that the law would normally require.

The case stemmed from an investigative report into the federal sponsorship scandal, in which Globe and Mail reporter Daniel Leblanc relied on a confidential source, identified only as “MaChouette.”

On a third case, the Supreme Court does not get the endorsement of most Canadians. More than half of respondents (54%) disagree with the ruling which states that suspects do not have a right to legal counsel while they are being interrogated.

Last month’s 5-4 decision effectively signifies that, if suspects reveals information to officers or detectives during an interrogation, this information may be admitted into evidence in a legal process against them.

Full Report, Detailed Tables and Methodology (PDF)


Mario Canseco, Vice President, Communications & Media Relations

+877 730 3570


Methodology: From October 29 to October 30, 2010, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 1,014 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Petroleum production in Canada 2010.

Petroleum production in Canada is a major industry which is important to the economy of North America. Canada is the seventh largest oil producing country in the world. In 2008 it produced an average of 438,000 cubic metres per day (2,750,000 bbl/d) of crude oil, crude bitumen and natural gas condensate. Of that amount, 45% was conventional crude oil, 49.5% was bitumen from oil sands, and 5.5% was condensate from natural gas wells.[1] Most of Canadian petroleum production, approximately 283,000 cubic metres per day (1,780,000 bbl/d), was exported, almost all of it to the United States.[2] Canada is the largest single source of oil imports into the United States.

The petroleum industry in Canada is also referred to as the Canadian "Oil Patch"; the term refers especially to upstream operations (exploration and production of oil and gas), and to a lesser degree to downstream operations (refining, distribution, and selling of oil and gas products). In 2005, almost 25,000 new oil wells were spud (drilled) in Canada. Daily, over 100 new wells are spud in the province of Alberta alone [3].

1 History

2 Divisions

2.1 Alberta

2.2 British Columbia

2.3 Manitoba

2.4 Saskatchewan

2.5 Northern Canada (onshore)

2.6 Northern Canada (offshore)

2.7 Eastern Canada (onshore)

2.8 Eastern Canada (offshore)

3 Major players

4 Long-term outlook

5 See also

5.1 Oil fields of Canada

6 References

7 External links


Main article: History of the petroleum industry in Canada

The Canadian petroleum industry developed in parallel with that of the United States. The first oil well in Canada was dug by hand (rather than drilled) in 1858 by James Miller Williams near his asphalt plant at Oil Springs, Ontario. At a depth of 20 metres (66 ft) he struck oil, one year before "Colonel" Edwin Drake drilled the first oil well in the United States.[4] Williams later went on to found "The Canadian Oil Company" which qualified as the world’s first integrated oil company.

Petroleum production in Ontario expanded rapidly, and practically every significant producer became his own refiner. By 1864, 20 refineries were operating in Oil Springs and seven in Petrolia, Ontario. However, Ontario's status as an important oil producer did not last long. By 1880 Canada was a net importer of oil from the United States.

Canada's unique geography, geology, resources and patterns of settlement have been key factors in the history of Canada. The development of the petroleum sector helps illustrate how they have helped make the nation quite distinct from her neighbour to the south.


Most exploration and production occurs in Alberta, with a significant number of operations in British Columbia—particularly in winter—and consistent activity in Saskatchewan. Drilling from large offshore platforms occurs on the Newfoundland continental shelf.


Drilling rig in northern Alberta

Oil extraction near Drayton ValleyAlberta is the largest producer of conventional crude oil, synthetic crude, natural gas and gas products in Canada. Two of the largest producers of petrochemicals in North America are located in central and north central Alberta. In both Red Deer and Edmonton, world class polyethylene and vinyl manufacturers produce products shipped all over the world, and Edmonton's oil refineries provide the raw materials for a large petrochemical industry to the east of Edmonton. There are hundreds of small companies in Alberta dedicated to providing all sorts of services to this industry—from drilling to well maintenance, pipeline maintenance to seismic exploration.

The Athabasca Oil Sands (previously known as the Athabasca Tar Sands) have estimated oil reserves in excess of that of the rest of the world, estimated to be 1.6 trillion barrels (254 km³). With the advancement of extraction methods, bitumen and economical synthetic crude are produced at costs nearing that of conventional crude. This technology grew and developed in Alberta. Many companies employ both conventional strip mining and non-conventional methods to extract the bitumen from the Athabasca deposit. With current technology, only 315 billion barrels (50 km³) are recoverable. Entire towns, like Fort McMurray, have grown up entirely because of the large multinational corporations which have taken on the task of oil production.

While Edmonton is considered the pipeline junction, manufacturing, chemical processing, research and refining centre of the province, Calgary is known for its senior and junior oil company head offices.

Major oil fields are found in southeast Alberta (Brooks, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge), northwest (Grande Prairie, High Level, Rainbow Lake, Zama), central (Caroline, Red Deer), and northeast (Athabasca Oil Sands)

Structural regions include: Foothills, Greater Arch, Deep Basin.

Oil and gas activity is regulated by the Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB)(Formerly the Energy and Utility Board (EUB))[5].

[edit] British Columbia

Drilling rig in northern British ColumbiaDrilling for gas and oil in the Peace Country of north-eastern British Columbia, around Fort Nelson (Greater Sierra oil field), Fort St. John (Pink Mountain, Border Ring) and Dawson Creek

Oil and gas activity is regulated by the Oil and Gas Commission (OGC)[6].


A few rigs drilling for gas in southern Manitoba


Mostly shallow gas wells in southwestern Saskatchewan (Hatton, Cypress Hill) and the southeast (Lougheed, Weir Hill), heavy oil extraction around Lloydminster, oil wells around Weyburn.

Oil and gas activity is regulated by the Saskatchewan Industry and Resources (SIR) [7].

 Northern Canada (onshore)

Drilling for oil in the Mackenzie Delta by Petro-Canada

 Northern Canada (offshore)

Production in the Beaufort Sea off the Mackenzie Delta.

Sporadic drilling along the continental shelf of the Beaufort Sea.

Eastern Canada (onshore)

Sporadic drilling in southern Ontario by Talisman Energy Inc.

Sporadic drilling in western Newfoundland

Sporadic drilling in northern Nova Scotia and western Cape Breton Island

Sporadic drilling in northern and eastern Prince Edward Island

Production of natural gas at the McCully Field in southern New Brunswick, connected to the Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline

Eastern Canada (offshore)

Offshore oil drilling and production at Hibernia, Terra Nova, and White Rose fields off the coast of Newfoundland

Offshore gas drilling and production on Sable Island fields off the coast of Nova Scotia

Sporadic drilling along continental shelf off Nova Scotia.

Sporadic drilling in Laurentian Fan at southern end of Cabot Strait

Sporadic drilling in eastern Northumberland Strait

 Major players

The country's four largest integrated refiners are Imperial Oil, Husky Energy, Petro-Canada, and Suncor Energy. In 2007 Canada's four biggest oil companies brought in record profits of $11.75 billion, up 10 percent from $10.72 billion in 2006. Revenues for the Big Four climbed to $80 bilion from about $72 billion in 2006. The numbers exclude Shell Canada and ConocoPhillips Canada, two private subsidiaries that produced almost 500,000 barrels per day in 2006.[8]

EnCana Corporation

Canadian Natural Resources Limited

Husky Energy Inc.


Talisman Energy Inc.

Devon Canada Corporation

Suncor Energy

Cenovus Energy

 Long-term outlook

Oil Production In North America Canadian conventional oil production peaked in 1973, but oil sands production is forecast to increase to at least 2020

US oil production (crude oil only) and Hubbert high estimate.

Mexican production peaked in 2004 and is now in decline

Broadly speaking Canadian oil production (via standard deep drilling) peaked in the mid-1970s, but due to the new offshore basins being exploited in Atlantic Canada and the boom of the Alberta Tar Sands overall production will not peak until the 2020s.

 See also

Canada portal


Books are collections of articles that can be downloaded or ordered in print.

These topics are related to offshore or onshore oil and related gas production in Canada

History of the petroleum industry in Canada

List of Petroleum Companies in Canada

Peak Oil an economic condition of oil production that Canada reached in the late 1970s

Peak Gas, related to Peak Oil

the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has a clause in it relating to oil and gas export celinge that may force Canada to abandon the treaty to keep its own economy functioning

 Oil fields of Canada

These oil fields are economically important to the Canadian economy, either in the present or historically

Athabasca Oil Sands, Alberta

Hibernia Oil Platform

Terra Nova Oil Field

White Rose oil field

Hamburg oil field, Alberta


1.^ "Estimated Production of Canadian Crude Oil and Equivalent". National Energy Board. 2009. http://www.neb.gc.ca/clf-nsi/rnrgynfmtn/sttstc/crdlndptrlmprdct/stmtdprdctn-eng.html. Retrieved 2009-01-27.

2.^ "Total Crude Oil Exports (m3 and bbl) - Annual". National Energy Board of Canada. 2009. http://www.neb.gc.ca/clf-nsi/rnrgynfmtn/sttstc/crdlndptrlmprdct/ttlcrdlxprt-eng.html. Retrieved 2009-01-27.

3.^ Canadian Rig Locator

4.^ "Six Historical Events in the First 100 Years of Canada's Petroleum Industry". Petroleum Historical Society of Canada. 2009. http://www.petroleumhistory.ca/history/wells.html.Retrieved 2009-01-27.

5.^ Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB)

6.^ British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission (OGC)

7.^ Saskatchewan Industry and Resources (SIR)

8.^ Vancouver Sun. Record Profits for Canada's big oil companies

Canadian Wellsite "Homepage of the Canadian Oilpatch"

Sunday, November 21, 2010

OTTAWA — As Ottawa police raised a flag at their downtown headquarters in tribute to Saturday’s Transgender Day of Remembrance,

OTTAWA — As Ottawa police raised a flag at their downtown headquarters in tribute to Saturday’s Transgender Day of Remembrance, two activists were arrested when they tried to hang a sign from a highway overpass.

“The police were trying to block our messaging, block us from standing up and saying our communities aren’t represented by the police,” said Taiva Tegler, who was on the overpass with about 15 other people. “We need to remember that these communities continue to he harassed, assaulted, humiliated, beaten and murdered.”

The transgender activists were arrested on Saturday afternoon for mischief after they hung a “Remember Stonewall?” banner on the overpass. The Stonewall riots in New York City in 1969 began the gay rights movement in the United States.

As many as 50 people who participated in the day’s observances crowded the police station lobby to support the two arrested.

Dan Irving, co-ordinator of the sexuality studies program at Carleton University, was among the crowd at the police station. Police allowed him to speak to the two arrested, who said they would be kept at the police station overnight because they refused to give their names.

Irving said he hopes the arrests don’t take away from the purpose of the day, which is held every Nov. 20 in cities around the world, to remember those who have been killed due to transgender hatred or prejudice.

Amanda Ryan, who helped organize the event, said Ottawa police have become the first organization in Canada to officially recognize Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Staff Sgt. John Medeiros said sensitivity training is provided for all recruits. He said Saturday’s event was a good way to create awareness and encourage people to people hate crimes.

“The trans community is a marginalized community — there is already a challenge in getting people to report,” Medeiros said. “It makes perfect sense that we would be involved in supporting victims.”

Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/life/Transgender+rights+activists+arrested+Ottawa/3861277/story.html#ixzz15tQV4exK

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Canadian diplomat blasts Ottawa

LISBON—Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s calculated political stance as an anti-Russian cold warrior has made Canada an irrelevant, mischievous force within the NATO alliance, according to a former Canadian diplomat.

Christopher Westdal, who served as ambassador to Russia from 2003 to 2006, blasted Canada’s foreign policy stance toward Russia as outdated and specifically designed to win over ethnic votes in Canada. In doing so, Ottawa has removed itself from the debate over “sound security policy.”

Harper will be on firm ground at the two-day NATO meeting which began Friday in Lisbon, Westdal said, when talk turns to the nine-year Afghan war, which Canada has committed to participating in until 2014.

But Canada will be the most marginal of players when leaders at the two-day NATO summit discuss the so-called Strategic Concept — the future of the alliance — and better relations with Russia, he said.

“Our prime minister’s credibility is undermined by widespread suspicion that his government’s policy in East-West security relations is tailored to suit Ukranian, Baltic and other Russo-phobe diaspora voting blocs in Canada,” Westdal wrote in a policy paper for the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute.

“Rigid neo-con antipathy to Russia (reinforced by conservative national media) and a foreign policy narrowly designed for diasporas have led us to the margins of irrelevance and mischief.”

At the NATO table, those policies include long-standing support for extending alliance membership to Ukraine and Georgia, two former Soviet republics.

Canada, along with the United States and a few other countries, championed the two countries’ bids to join NATO in 2008, when Russia was engaged in a brief, bloody border war with Georgia. Alliance relations with Moscow have been frosty ever since.

Georgia wants to join NATO, where it hopes to benefit from the mutual defence the alliance offers when one of its members comes under attack.

Harper met Friday with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili just before the official opening of the summit.

“As you know, we’re very appreciative of your efforts with NATO in Afghanistan and also, we’re big supporters of your NATO aspirations,” Harper said.

Dimitri Soudas, a spokesperson for Harper, the government’s position is unchanged on the contentious issue of new NATO memberships.

“It’s Ukraine that we are supporting entering the alliance, provided they want to,” he said.

The catch is that Ukraine, which voted in Victor Yanukovych as president earlier this year, no longer aspires to join the alliance.

Ottawa’s menacing stance toward Russia goes further, Westdal said. It includes very public complaints about Russian bomber flights encroaching on Canada’s Arctic territory, which experts have judged to be out of proportion to the threat those flights pose. Canada has also imposed new visa questionnaires that require Russians seeking to enter the country to disclose their membership in a political party, trade union and the particulars of their military service.

Russians can be sent to prison for providing such information to a foreign government, and the dispute between Moscow and Ottawa is yet another irritant in the already strained relationship.

“In Moscow . . . we’ve just been hard to take seriously these last five years, what with the open antipathy in our Last Cold Warrior Standing posture,” Westdal said. “Such nonsense gets notices — and does us no good.”

NATO nations will sit down Saturday with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev to discuss building closer ties and better relations. That will include new plans to build a missile defence shield across Europe — something Moscow once took as a personal threat but to which it has now warmed.

Russia will also agree to help out the NATO coalition in Afghanistan by transporting equipment and supplies by rail and providing helicopter and counter-narcotic support.

Most countries’ outmoded attitudes toward Russia have been successfully recast, Westdal said.

“Ours never were. The world has moved on, but neo-con thought is alive and well in Ottawa. We need to lift our sights and our game.”

Friday, November 19, 2010

Montreal’s Jaggi Singh, one of dozens of community organizers arrested even before last summer’s G20 protests began, has launched a constitutional challenge against his bail conditions.

Montreal’s Jaggi Singh, one of dozens of community organizers arrested even before last summer’s G20 protests began, has launched a constitutional challenge against his bail conditions.

Although most of his co-accused have had similar restrictions imposed on their actions and movements, Singh, a noted anti-globalization and social justice activist, is the first to take the constitutional route.

He is to appear Wednesday in Ontario Superior Court, with the support of PEN Canada which is intervening in his case, citing that Singh’s right to freedom of expression has been violated.

“The conditions are being used in a very exaggerated punitive way to simply make the process of being charged the actual punishment,’’ said Singh, who faces charges of conspiracy to commit mischief and conspiracy to assault and obstruct police.

Aside from $85,000 in bail, Singh’s conditions for release include staying away from organizing or participating in any demonstrations, not associating with any of his co-accused, house arrest, the inability to use any wireless device and not possessing a passport.

“I do a monthly (community) radio show and I have a condition that prevents me from using a wireless device: Am I using a wireless device?’’ Singh said on the phone from Montreal. “The transmitter on top of Mount Royal is the ultimate wireless device. Am I allowed to use a laptop with wireless Internet?’’

Among his many concerns, he said, is that the conditions are subject to arbitrary interpretation, as co-accused Alex Hundert discovered in September when he was arrested for participating in a university panel discussion.

As for the right to freedom of expression, PEN said: “Preventing someone from participating in a public demonstration does nothing to ensure the safety of a single Canadian. On the contrary, the practice of censorship harms the rights of all Canadians and is repugnant to any society that values its right to freedom of expression.”

“There is a constitutional right to a reasonable bail,’’ said Singh’s lawyer, Peter Rosenthal. “We’re saying that the bail conditions were entirely unreasonable.

“That in our view clearly violates freedom of expression, freedom of association, and the right to lawful assembly. There’s no possible justification for any such condition in our view.”

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A woman was unlawfully arrested and suffered an "indignity" when she was forcibly strip-searched while in Ottawa police custody, an Ontario judge has ruled.

A woman was unlawfully arrested and suffered an "indignity" when she was forcibly strip-searched while in Ottawa police custody, an Ontario judge has ruled.

Stacy Bonds, 27, was arrested on Rideau Street in September 2008 and charged with public intoxication.

Justice Richard Lajoie of the Ontario court of justice stayed the charge against Bonds, ruling it would be a "travesty to permit these proceedings to go on" because of the "appalling behaviours" of police officers seen in a videotape presented in court.

In a transcript of his Oct. 27 oral decision released Wednesday, Lajoie ruled that while the accused had been drinking when she was arrested, there was "no evidence that Ms Bonds was a threat to herself or anyone else" and so there was no grounds to detain her.

Bonds's detention and subsequent strip-search was a "clear violation" of her rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Lajoie ruled.

Lajoie said the video shows Bonds — who is "not being one hundred per cent compliant" — receive "two extremely violent knee hits in the back."

Bonds is then forced to the ground, where a police officer cuts off her shirt and bra with scissors "with the assistance of at least three male officers," Lajoie said.

There was "no reasonable explanation" for the strip-search, Lajoie said. "It is more than evident that the search at 474 Elgin [Street] was an extremely serious breach of Ms. Bonds' rights."

Matthew Webber, Bonds's lawyer, thanked Lajoie.

"At the station we have the police officers not only assaulting my client, but we have the police engaging in a strip search which is in clear contravention of the Supreme Court of Canada's directions as to when you can engage in a strip search," Webber told CBC News.

"It's a lack of knowledge. It's a lack of training."

Police launch internal investigation

Ottawa police Chief Vern White, reached in Kingston, Ont. by telephone, promised a swift internal investigation into the treatment Bonds received. Like other Ontario police chiefs, White said, he would like more power to discipline officers.

"I do not feel our discipline process today carries the full weight of accountability the public expects," White said. "Most of the chiefs have identified to the province that we need to have some changes in the Police Services Act."

White said the current act makes it difficult to suspend or dismiss police officers, and even those dismissed may remain on the payroll if they choose to appeal.

Webber suggested the officers involved should be fired.

"Perhaps they should not have those jobs; perhaps they cannot be trusted to have those jobs," he said.

Webber said the incident has shaken Bonds's confidence in the police and she is considering launching a lawsuit against the Ottawa Police Service

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/ottawa/story/2010/11/17/ottawa-strip-search-117.html#ixzz15bsNYYmH

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews defended federal legislation Tuesday that would pave the way to providing the U.S. with personal information about Canadians flying over that country : The U.S. has a legal right to request that information, Toews told a Commons committee.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews defended federal legislation Tuesday that would pave the way to providing the U.S. with personal information about Canadians flying over that country.

The U.S. has a legal right to request that information, Toews told a Commons committee.

Earlier this year, Canada's major airlines said they would be forced either to break privacy laws or to ignore new American air security rules unless the federal government comes up with a response to U.S. demands for passenger information.

The National Airlines Council of Canada, which represents the four largest Canadian carriers, pleaded with the government to find "a permanent solution" to issues raised by the U.S. Secure Flight program.

The program involves collection of the name, gender and birth date of the approximately five million Canadians who fly through American airspace each year en route to destinations such as the Caribbean, Mexico and South America — even if their planes don't touch the ground in the States.

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration would vet the names against security watch lists.

Passengers whose names appear on the list could face anything from extra security screening to being barred from a flight.

Opposition MPs on the Commons transport committee expressed concerns about how Washington might use the information.

Toews assured them the data would be used only for airline security purposes.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/politics/story/2010/11/16/toews-passenger-information.html#socialcomments#ixzz15VpeuI2M

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Toronto's Police Chief Bill Blair wants to keep some of the equipment bought expressly for the G20 Summit, particularly security cameras and so-called long range acoustic devices.

Toronto's Police Chief Bill Blair wants to keep some of the equipment bought expressly for the G20 Summit, particularly security cameras and so-called long range acoustic devices.

"We have some requirement for CCTV cameras in certain neighbourhoods that are experiencing some violence and difficulty," Blair said Monday outside a Toronto Police Services Board meeting.

The police acquired 77 new cameras for use downtown for the June 26-27 G20 Summit in the downtown core. The cameras had to come down after the summit.

The cameras had to come down after the summit.

At the January Police Services Board meeting, Blair will formally ask to keep the cameras. Because they were purchased for the G20, they will only cost half the usual price. The federal government will pay the rest, CTV Toronto reported.

The cost to the service would be $90,000.

If the police do get to acquire the 52 new cameras, it would bring the total number to 76. Police would not be able to deploy the cameras immediately.

The police also acquired four Long Range Acoustic Devices for the summit. The LRADs, as they are also known, are used for crowd control.

Blair would like to keep three for the police (one for the marine unit), with the fourth possibly going to Toronto Fire.

G20 expenses

The total bill for the summit isn't yet known. A second summit, the G8, also occurred in the cottage country city of Huntsville on June 25-26.

The preliminary bill, as of early November, is at least $860 million. Of that, total security costs are $676 million.

According to Blair, the federal government's late decision to move the G20 summit to downtown Toronto's Metro Convention Centre meant there was no time to seek competitive bids for items such as hotel rooms, meals and riot equipment.

The city and the police board approved the service's skirting of normal procurement procedures.

The costs include:

radio rentals - $4.6 million

cameras and fibre optics - $1.1 million

detention centre lease - $1.7 million

Hotel rooms for police are expected to cost more than $5 million.

Blair said the expenditures will still come in under the budgeted figure of $124.8 million, saying it will come in around $76 million.

To put that number in context, the city budgeted $888 million to provide policing services this year, the largest single item in Toronto's operating budget.

A full accounting of G20 policing costs for Toronto will be presented at the January police services board meeting.

It is anticipated the federal government will cover the costs incurred by Toronto police.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Iceland Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland launch spy inquiry in to US counter-surveillance programme.

Iceland launches US spy inquiry

The Icelandic government has become the latest Nordic country to open an inquiry into whether its citizens are being spied on by the US embassy.

Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland are already investigating whether US embassies are acting illegally.

The allegations began when Norwegian TV claimed protesters were photographed and their names added to a database.

The US says it runs a legal counter-surveillance programme in response to security threats to its embassies.

Although US embassy officials in Reykjavik have denied any espionage is taking place, Iceland's ministry of justice says it has asked the national police commissioner to carry out a fact-finding inquiry.

The ministry said it was responding to revelations in Scandinavia "that US embassies conducted surveillance inside the countries without permission from state authorities".

US officials say they stand ready to discuss the matter "in government to government channels".

East African attacks

US State Department spokesman PJ Crowley explained in Washington earlier this week that counter-terrorism measures related to attacks on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania 12 years ago in which 250 people died.

"We have acknowledged that we have a programme around the world where we are alert for people who may be surveilling our embassies because we recognise that they are potential targets of terrorism," he said.

But the report on Norway's TV2 channel claiming that hundreds of Norwegians had been monitored by former police and armed forces personnel alarmed neighbouring countries.

Sweden's Justice Minister Beatrice Ask has claimed that people linked to the US embassy in Stockholm have performed surveillance since 2000 without fully informing Swedish authorities.

She has described the revelations as "very serious".

Her Danish counterpart Lars Barfoed said that security police would meet US embassy officials in Copenhagen to ensure no laws were being

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Conservative Senators are quietly using taxpayer-funded literature to target opposition ridings with a partisan crime message.

OTTAWA—Conservative Senators are quietly using taxpayer-funded literature to target opposition ridings with a partisan crime message as the party gears up for the next election, the Toronto Star has learned.

And at least one of the Senators sent the mailers out at the direction of the Conservative Party of Canada’s national campaign office.

That Senator was Bob Runciman (Ontario). It is not clear whether Senator Don Plett (Manitoba), who distributed almost identical material, did so at the behest of the party.

The tactic of Senators using their office budgets to demonize Liberal MPs in their own ridings is unheard of and an affront to the Senate’s role as a chamber of sober second thought, Liberal Senator Jim Munson, said in an interview.

The two Senators sent out some 6,000 brochures in total to the ridings of Liberal MPs Anita Neville (Winnipeg South Centre) and David McGuinty (Ottawa South) in September urging constituents to join them in demanding stiffer sentences for young offenders while suggesting Liberals were soft on crime.

“It’s the politics of fear paid for by taxpayers’ money and I find it disgusting,” Munson said, adding that he will be raising the controversial practice in the Red Chamber on Tuesday.

“It’s unethical and they should be ashamed of themselves,” Munson said Thursday.

But the Senators were unapologetic about spending thousands of taxpayers’ dollars, saying Canadians deserve to know what the Harper government would to do to crack down on young offenders.

“Anita Neville has shown over and over again that she simply doesn’t want to properly punish crime in my humble opinion,” said Plett, former Conservative Party president, who is among the 35 senators appointed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to the 105-seat upper Chamber.

By using the Senators to send out this kind of literature, the Conservative Party gets around the prohibition on MPs using tax dollars to send partisan messages to other ridings, which the House of Commons agreed must stop.

The material, sent to 3,000 homes in each of the two ridings, includes an “official petition to the Senate” that calls for revealing the names of dangerous or violent young offenders and adult-length sentences when warranted, among other things.

“Unlike the Liberals, we also believe that the whole point of a criminal justice system isn’t the welfare of the criminal, it’s the safety of you, your family and your home and possessions,” said the identical message in the two mail-outs.

“I take crime seriously, as I’m sure you do. It’s time we told the opposition parties in Ottawa that we want them to take it seriously too.”

McGuinty and Neville say the literature is just further proof the Conservatives don’t hesitate to use taxpayers’ dollars to further their political agenda.

“They are targeting those polls (voter areas) in the ridings that they are quite deliberately making an effort to make inroads into,” Neville said.

“I think it is certainly duplicitous. They’ve used everything they could in the House of Commons until the outcry became too loud and now they have moved to the Senate to do their dirty work. If they want to do their dirty work then pay for it. Don’t do it on the taxpayers’ bill,” she said.

Plett said the fact remains that “we have some serious issues with some crime, especially in the youth crime” and that many people who responded agreed.

Neville noted the petition also provides the Conservatives an opportunity to build the party’s database of potential members and donors, all of it done on the public’s dime.

Runciman, a former Ontario Progressive Conservative MPP and cabinet minister who has a long history of calling for tougher youth sentences, was frank about his decision to target McGuinty’s riding.

“I campaigned there in the last federal election for the Conservative candidate and he did fairly well actually, given the historical nature of the riding,” said Runciman, referring to runner-up Elie Salibi.

Runciman received only about 200 names on the petitions and some “blistering negative emails” criticizing him for sending the literature out.

“There was not really much of a reaction,” said Runciman, who told the Star it was the “Conservative campaign folks” that put him up to it.

McGuinty said the Conservatives have a history since forming a minority government in 2006 of “taking tax dollars and justify spending them in any way in order to achieve their neo-Conservative agenda. It’s that simple.”

“That’s what’s going on right now in Ottawa. That’s what your readers have to know. It is out of control and it’s all because Harper wants his majority,” he said.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

An Ontario coroner has decided to expand the inquest into the final months of Ashley Smith's life

An Ontario coroner has decided to expand the inquest into the final months of Ashley Smith's life and look into how her state of mind may have contributed to the New Brunswick teen's death at a federal prison for women.

"The expanded scope may assist the jury in making a determination about the manner of Ms. Smith's death," coroner Bonita Porter wrote in her decision released on Friday. "Her state of mind is part of the circumstances of the death and will be relevant to the issue of 'by what means' the death occurred."

Porter said the expanded inquest will include "an examination of factors that may have impacted Ms. Smith's state of mind on Oct. 19, 2007."

She said information presented to the jury "will not necessarily be restricted by her age, geography, date or nature of the institution that was tasked with her care."

Exclusive footage

The Fifth Estate has obtained exclusive prison footage of Ashley Smith's final months in a federal prison in Kitchener, Ont. The footage is part of a documentary called Behind the Wall, which can be watched online on The Fifth Estate website.

The inquest was initially going to be restricted to Smith's experience in Ontario from May 12, 2007 up to her death on Oct. 19, 2007, and not her entire 11½ months and 17 transfers within federal correctional facilities.

Smith, while in isolation, choked herself to death with a piece of cloth while guards at the Grand Valley Institution in Kitchener, Ont., looked on. They had been ordered not to intervene.

Earlier this month, Julian Falconer, a lawyer for Smith's family, argued before Porter that the inquest should be broadened to understand the 19-year-old's "barbaric" living conditions and learn fully what led to her death.

A report to the Correctional Service of Canada by independent psychologist Margo Rivera concluded that prison officials’ repeated transfers of Smith, against doctor’s orders, interfered with her mental health therapy and escalated her spiral toward her death.

Rivera also concluded that Smith believed guards would intervene and that her self-choking behaviour was not an attempt to kill herself, but rather "met her need for increasing the level of stimulation" by provoking guards, forcing them to enter her isolation cell to save her

Friday, November 12, 2010

Forget about a majority government. So underwhelmed are Canadian voters with the current state of politics that securing even a minority government for any of the parties is now proving elusive, according to a new EKOS Research poll.

Forget about a majority government. So underwhelmed are Canadian voters with the current state of politics that securing even a minority government for any of the parties is now proving elusive, according to a new EKOS Research poll.

“The new normal is near parity with no single party having enough support for even a stable minority government,” pollster Frank Graves told The Globe in an email. “Welcome to the new normal. Can you say, repeat after me ... C-O-A-L-I-T-I-O-N?”

More related to this story

•The underlying bones don’t favour Michael Ignatieff

•Harper clings to five-point lead as poll exposes ‘political rut’

•What Parliament would look like if only women voted


Read the Nov. 11, 2010 EKOS poll Released Thursday morning, the survey shows Stephen Harper’s team and Michael Ignatieff’s statistically tied. The Conservatives have the support of 29.4 per cent of Canadians compared to 28.6 per cent for the Liberals. Jack Layton’s NDP, however, is at 19.3 per cent – the highest level the party has been at in two years.

Notably, New Democrats are leading among youth and Atlantic Canadians – usually the bastion of the Liberals. And Mr. Graves found that if the vote was restricted to women, the NDP would be tied with the Conservatives, who have tremendous support from older men in Alberta.

The Greens and Bloc, meanwhile, are at 10.7 per cent and 9.3 per cent respectively.

It is significant, Mr. Graves said, that no single party can reach the threshold of 30 per cent support. “In a country which historically would have seen at least one choice running in the 40 per cent region and sometime 50 per cent a decade or so ago, it’s really startling to see just how much things have changed.”

The slight lead the Conservatives had in the EKOS poll two weeks ago has all but vanished – as has the 10-point lead the Tories had over the Liberals last year at this time.

This is no fluke, Mr. Graves said. Over the past month his polling has shown one week in which the Conservatives had an edge over the Liberals. It was the result of Tory gains in Ontario, which Mr. Graves attributed to the “Ford bounce” after conservative-leaning Rob Ford was elected mayor of Toronto.

“The other three weeks it was a statistical tie,” Mr. Graves said. Looking at calculations going back to January, however, EKOS polling shows the Conservatives with an average 32 per cent support compared to 28 per cent for the Liberals.

This begs the question: “Can any single party eke out the more humble goal of even a secure minority? Increasingly, the answer appears to be that even that more modest goal may be elusive.”

The poll of 1,815 Canadians was conducted between Nov. 3 and Nov. 9; it has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Fighter jets

Canadians are split over the controversial $16-billion purchase of 65 new stealth fighter jets: 54 per cent of EKOS respondents are strongly or somewhat opposed to the purchase compared to 46 per cent who strongly or somewhat support the deal.

Mr. Graves found that the strongest opposition is in Quebec and among university graduates while those who support the purchase are mostly from Alberta, seniors and male.

The Liberals have been hammering away at this proposed sole-source contract, vowing that if they form government they would scrap the purchase and put the deal out to competition.

More related to this story

•Stephen Harper again enters ‘uncertain world of coalitions’

•Mild Tory pain means slight Liberal gain from stagnant electorate

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The union representing Department of Veterans Affairs employees says it will fight any efforts to increase the penalties against staffers who share confidential information about veterans.!

The union representing Department of Veterans Affairs employees says it will fight any efforts to increase the penalties against staffers who share confidential information about veterans.

Veterans Affairs Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn told CBC Radio One's Island Morning on Tuesday the current one-day suspension would be replaced with a 30-day suspension and possible termination.

The announcement followed a public tongue-lashing Blackburn gave employees after the department passed personal and sensitive medical information about veteran Sean Bruyea between various unauthorized employees and also sent the information to a hospital.

"It's the second time in the last month and a half that he [Blackburn] is blasting his own employees," said Yvan Thauvette, head of the Union of Veterans Affairs Employees.

"As a union representative, I would say that he will probably find us in his way because he cannot go from one-day suspension to 30-day suspension and losing your job."

Thauvette said all DVA employees are taking training on how to handle the private information of clients. He said politics is also paying a part on the increased spotlight on the DVA and its employees.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/prince-edward-island/story/2010/11/10/pei-dva-employee-suspensions-union.html#ixzz14xJF4DbB

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A departing Conservative MP used publicly funded House of Commons resources to back his potential successor

A departing Conservative MP used publicly funded House of Commons resources to back his potential successor — a candidate who once headed the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and was a senior aide to the prime minister.

"As we prepare for the next federal election, the following few months are extremely important. The prime minister wants the party to present the best slate of candidates possible in all 308 ridings," MP Greg Thompson wrote on Commons letterhead of the contest to replace him in New Brunswick Southwest.

"I also believe it is important that you know exactly why I'm supporting John Williamson as our next Conservative candidate and MP."

The letter, sent using parliamentary mailing privileges, is one of a list of grievances cited by local Tories over how the nomination contest unfolded in one of Canada's largest ridings.

Williamson, who resigned as Stephen Harper's director of communications to run, won handily on nomination voting day Oct. 23, with nearly 60 per cent of the ballots.

"It certainly doesn't give people confidence that they're part of a democratic process," said Lloyd Wilson, one of the unsuccessful candidates.

"He's entitled to an opinion as anyone else is, but as a sitting member of Parliament I think there's an expectation that you provide a separation from your opinions and the party — or are you speaking on behalf of the party when you say those things?"

Commons bylaws state that parliamentary resources should not be used for electoral campaigning. Thompson, former veterans affairs minister, said he believed his letter fell within the rules and that party members are ultimately constituents.

"The other thing that I pointed out to those who did complain, if you will, that if they do have a concern with that, make sure that they pass that concern on to the Speaker of the House because I clearly was within the rules of engagement," Thompson said in an interview.

Party members frustrated

Several party members who spoke to The Canadian Press said they were frustrated with the Conservative party's response to their concerns about the race leading up to that date.

"The membership was hurt, it was the membership that wasn't given its due consideration, and no matter what happens, Mr. Williamson certainly has some healing to do in the riding," said Scott Sparks, another unsuccessful contender.

One of the main complaints brought up by members is the fact no polling stations were located in the northern corners of the riding, which spans 10,000 square kilometres. Some voters faced a three-hour drive to vote, and the main polling station's location favoured southern-based candidates such as Williamson.

Riding association president Fraser Ingraham, a dairy farmer, acknowledges local executives missed a deadline for applying for those satellite stations, but he said the party could have set them up if they wanted.

"I think the party should take a look at that and work closely with the riding associations because we're the people on the ground and we're all volunteers — we do this because we believe in the party," said Ingraham, of Dumfries, N.B.

"Most of the people who make these decisions grow up in cities and don't know what really happens in rural parts of the country or New Brunswick."

Williamson says he too felt some frustration with the process, having backed the local executive's call for another polling station on Deer Island, only to have it rejected by Ottawa. But he says such decisions are par for the course.

"It was frustrating, but I think that's the name of the game in nomination contests, that all the candidates are thrown various curve balls and you win some, you lose some," said Williamson.

No real convention held

Another frustration that came up repeatedly was the fact there was no real convention held on voting day, despite the rental of a large high school gym. The four candidates were not permitted to address members, making the station even less of a draw for Tories who lived farther away.

"In Atlantic Canada, we've never heard tell of having a nomination and candidates not having a chance to talk to the membership," said Ingraham.

Conservative party spokesman Fred Delorey said a series of town hall meetings with candidates in advance of voting day were designed to connect members with the contenders. He said the preferential ballot system used by the party precludes conventions, although people in the province might not be used to it.

"We're doing this across the country, this type of setup," Delorey said.

Delorey also said it was up to the riding association board to ask for the northern polling stations in a timely fashion.

"They recommended, and we approved it, and then we moved forward from that. They had their opportunity to set the locations and we accepted it," he said.

On the subject of Thompson's use of his parliamentary resources, Delorey had no comment. Williamson, a former national director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, would only say he was honoured to have Thompson's endorsement.

"I was appreciative of his support and I know that other candidates wanted it, they were climbing all over themselves for it, but ultimately Greg did what Greg thought was best," Williamson said.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/new-brunswick/story/2010/11/09/nb-greg-thompson-john-williamson.html#ixzz14r1ZJAj6

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The outgoing veterans ombudsman is prepared to launch a class-action lawsuit against the government over a claims process he says is wrongly denying disability benefits.

The outgoing veterans ombudsman is prepared to launch a class-action lawsuit against the government over a claims process he says is wrongly denying disability benefits.

Pat Stogran, who steps down from the position Wednesday, told the Star he has been approached by a private law firm about pursuing legal action over decisions made by the Veterans Review and Appeal Board regarding disability benefits.

“I have compelling evidence that they’ve elevated the standard of proof,” Stogran said Sunday evening, adding that a potential lawsuit is in the very early stages but that he believes there could be thousands of complainants.

His comments came at the same time as federal officials vowed to quickly address mounting complaints about the lump-sum payments to seriously wounded veterans.

Conservative MP Greg Kerr, the parliamentary secretary to Veterans Affairs Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn, said the government is planning to make the payouts “more flexible.”

While the intent was good, the 2006 switch to lump-sum payments to replace monthly disability payments has suffered from a “number of problems,” Kerr said.

“So we've listened and I think those changes will happen within the next week or two,” Kerr told CTV’s Question Period on Sunday.

Protests took place across Canada on Saturday to complain about the government’s treatment of veterans and gripes about the lump sum took centre stage. The Harper government also took heat recently for unlawfully releasing a Gulf War veteran’s medical records.

“My argument throughout this whole period of revelations such as invasion of privacy and all these other things is that the veterans have not had a fair day in court,” Stogran said.

He said the potential lawsuit would address the burden of proof in disability pension and award review hearings. Veterans are supposed to be given the benefit of the doubt even if they lack evidence for their claim, Stogran said.

“As long as you use sound logic and reasoning, if you present a case that’s plausible and it makes sense, you don’t have to prove that it’s true,” he said.

But instead, he said, adjudicators in some cases have weighed the evidence as if it were a regular trial.

The legislation around veterans’ disability claims was designed to take into account circumstances that might prevent soldiers from having documentation that completely supports their claim, Stogran said.

“You’re not going to break down in the middle of a nighttime parachute assault . . . and asked to be evacuated to the unit aid station so you can do paperwork for your sore back,” he said, adding that he considers the elevated burden of proof “a national security issue.”

“You don’t want the soldiers overseas to be looking over their shoulders and worried about generating the evidence or how they’re going to be able to prove a disability.”

Stogran said he will take a low-profile after his successor, Guy Parent, takes office on Remembrance Day. But Stogran said if he doesn’t see movement on the issue, he is prepared to move forward with the lawsuit.

“I am so committed to bringing fair treatment to the veterans and I think this is the lynch pin of the whole thing,” he said.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is Canada's version of george W bush!

Harper: 'I've got bruises' for pro-Israel stance


CBC News

Stephen Harper says Canada will stand against "anti-Israel rhetoric" at international organizations like the United Nations as long as he is prime minister — "whatever the cost."

Prime Minister Stephen Harper delivers a speech on Monday at the annual conference of the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition for Combating Anti-Semitism in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press) The prime minister, speaking Monday at the start of an annual conference on combating anti-Semitism in Ottawa, said he's "got bruises to show" for speaking out in the international community against enemies of Israel.

Although he did not give specifics, Harper was likely referring to Canada's failed bid for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council last month. He also insisted there are "a lot more votes" in being anti-Israel than in "taking a stand."

Critics of the Conservative government have cited Harper's unwavering support of Israel during its ongoing conflict with the Palestinians as a possible reason for Canada's failure to gain a Security Council seat for the first time since the international body's creation.

But Harper said the "evolving phenomenon" of anti-Semitism targets the Jewish people by portraying Israel as "the source of injustice and conflict in the world, and uses perversely the language of human rights to do so."

"We must be relentless in exposing this new anti-Semitism for what it is," Harper said.

Israel, like any country, may be subjected to fair criticism, he said. But Harper told the audience that Canada must oppose what he called the "three Ds" — demonization, double standards and delegitimization.

"And like any free country Israel subjects itself to such criticism, healthy, necessary, democratic debate," he said. "But when Israel, the only country in the world whose very existence is under attack, is consistently and conspicuously singled out for condemnation, I believe we are morally obligated to take a stand."

Ignatieff targets Iran, UN seat loss

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff, in a speech to the conference, says Canada 'has an innocence that we very urgently need to shed' on the global reach of anti-Semitism. (CBC)

Harper said history has shown it is critical to fight anti-Semitism because those who threaten the existence of the Jewish people are ultimately a threat to everyone.

The Ottawa conference, organized by the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition for Combating Anti-Semitism, later heard from Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff, who said the "vicious modern anti-Semitism" is a "threat to all humanity."

In his address, Ignatieff singled out Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's "utterly unacceptable" comments and threats toward Israel. He said Canada must stand against the "strategic threat" Iran presents not just to Israel, but to the entire Middle East.

The Opposition leader also levelled criticism at Harper for Canada's failure to win a temporary seat on the UN Security Council, saying it was not a "moral victory" to lose out on a position from which Canada could have defended Israel on the international stage.

"If Canada wishes to defend Israel against Iran, as it should, it would have been nice to be on the UN Security Council," Ignatieff said.

Canada, Ignatieff added, "has an innocence that we very urgently need to shed" on the global reach of anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism fuels fire-bombings of religious schools within Canada's own borders, as well as the mail bombs recently shipped from Yemen, Ignatieff said.

The Liberal leader also condemned the "one-sided parade" of anti-Israel condemnations at the UN, as well as those who use the ongoing Mideast conflict as an "excuse to fuel their hatred."

In 2006, Ignatieff sparked controversy by saying he was "not losing sleep" over an Israeli air attack in the southern Lebanese village of Qana during the 34-day conflict between Israeli forces and Hezbollah guerillas.

Ignatieff, then a candidate for his party's leadership, subsequently called the incident a war crime, then clarified his remarks by saying he was a lifelong supporter of the state of Israel and it was up to international bodies to determine war crimes.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2010/11/08/harper-israel-anti-semitism.html#socialcomments#ixzz14ighrpE8