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Posts posted by Dave_ON

  1. There was a LOT of work before Alberta saw the money! Nobody came up to them while they were sitting on their collective asses and just handed it to them.

    You're echoing the socialist fable that every rich man was just lucky and did nothing to earn his wealth.

    Hard work isn't enough Bill and it's disingenuous to suggest otherwise. If you don't have anything of great value to work hard at it won't do you any good. Wealth is a combination of hard work and in Alberta's case geographical luck. When Alberta was formed Oil was unknown and not valuable. The people in Alberta in 1905 were no less hard working, then those of today.

    Secondly, Alberta did not develop their resources in a vacuum. It was developed with the assistance and manpower of other provinces. Alberta had neither the population nor the resources to develop this on their own. Non-Albertans moved there to help develop the industry, I think it's all a little to easy for them to pat themselves on the back for a job well done. That's not the reality of the western narrative.

    The NEP was a terrible idea and hurt the west a great deal for the benefit of Ontario and Quebec. Ontarians forget/don't acknowledge that. By the same token, the West couldn't develop these resources on their own, but they now are reaping the benefits of them and it's easy for them to lose perspective on who contributed to the development. So Central Canada feels entitled to a piece of the pie because they helped them get where they are, forgetting that it was the hard work and resources of other provinces that helped Ontario get to where they are today. Alberta feels they were screwed over by central Canada, which they were, which upsets them to the point that they forget, that just maybe they do owe TROC gratitude at the very least for their assistance in developing the industry.

    Fact of the matter is there is hyperbole of the situation on both sides of the argument which has caused self perpetuating and long standing resentment. The issue is deeper than Oil and the NEP, it's truly about power. Ontario, has a strong and diverse economy, and the highest population in the country, as such they wield a great deal of power. Alberta has a stronger, if much less diverse economy but they still are number 4 in the country population wise. They lack the political clout to wield the power Ontario does in spite of their superior wealth. I would surmise this irks them a great deal


  2. No you don't get it. If Harper wants to promote austerity, he has to lead the way. The left won't be happy unless our PM is driving himself around in a Hyundai with Onstar installed as his security. :lol:

    Well he'd have to drive a GM to get OnStar technically.

    However, I would suggest we could save a great deal on PM security, if we hired Chretien to train Harper in the art of PM kick butt. Cream pies in the face or breaking into Sussex drive Mr. Chretien knew how to handle it all!

    To the original post however, he's got every right to a hockey game as any other Canadian. Any other Canadian, doesn't need a jet or security detail. It's the cost of maintaining the office of the PM. It's coming out of his own pocket and the Jet is costing the tax payers money regardless of whether it's being used or not. The cost difference is only measure in fuel usage.

    I have no problem criticizing Harper when it's due, but this is somewhat ridiculous.

  3. I generally agree with your post. However, to be fair, the St. Lawrence Seaway is a joint U.S.-Canadian project, designed to benefit Great Lakes shipping and interests. It has more to do with the interests of the U.S. and Canadian interiors that ship through the Seaway than with Quebec.

    I wasn't actually unaware that it was a joint US Canadian project, thanks for the clarification. Though I would be interested to see the cost difference in maintaining the sea way vs. shipping to an ice free port via rail infrastructure. I suppose I'm not convinced the decision to build and maintain the seaway is the most cost effective method. Perhaps I'm seeing political expediency where none exists and it is in fact a geographic convenience.

  4. All of the facts point to the glaringly obvious conclusion that our electoral system is broken. It's not that Conservatives should not have a say, but it's clear from the results that they have a say far beyond what Canadians as individuals voted for. This is not only a problem with Harper as Prime Minister, but it's a problem with ANYONE as a Prime Minister on that kind of mandate. It would be equally unfair to the Conservatives if they were on the other side.

    I get what you're saying but the situation you're describing is a product of a multiparty system. Honestly our system works best with 2 main parties. The phenomenon you're describing is a result of vote splitting. Yes NDP and LPC are different parties, but many consider them similar and will flip flop between them.

    Honestly we need two strong main parties, and possibly a minor third out there to occasionaly hold the balance of power in a minority situation. That has been the great balance that was maintained for over 100 years in Canada, that is until the PC's collapsed. It took a long time for them to rebuild and in that time, the LPC collapsed due to complacency.

    Now it's my hope that they will get back on their game sooner rather than later, as this will restore the equilibrium that works best in our system. Honestly I have no desire to go to a PR system. As much as I did not want the CPC's to get a majority, I can live with it, so long as they avoid sticking their noses in social matters. Manage the finances and we'll get on just fine.

    Having a PR system would put us in a perpetual minority situation, and while minorities have been fine in the past, the past 5 years have been utterly unproductive. The only way you can simply combine the votes of the NDP and LPC is if they become one party, which to me is a smart idea, but it likely won't happen for some time if at all. I simply hope something happens before the CPC falls into the same pattern as the LPC and we're back in the same boat 10 years hence.

  5. Peoples should not be forced against their will to remain members of states or federations of which they wish no part. If the people of a given region overwhelmingly want to separate from a larger state/federation, they should be free to do so. There is really no reason to stand in their way, save a sense of nationalism/imperialism on the part of the nation from which they would be separating.

    I agree with you on a provincial level, but getting back to the OP's point I don't know that it's even technically possible for say Northern Ontario, to separate from South Western Ontario. Forgetting for a second that most of the wealth of Ontario, comes from SW Ontario, a province is not a federation. Therefore, there is technically nothing to secede from. Ontario, is as it is, I suppose it's conceivable that we could revert back to the early Ontario boarder, before a large portion of the NW territories was added to the province. I don't think reverting to territory status would be particularly advantageous for Norther Ontario though. Of course this is all extremely hypothetical, the OP is probably the only person in all of Ontario that's part of the Northern Ontario separation movement :)

  6. We never were, are not and never will be superior to anyone. I never have, do or will suggest anything of the kind. Albertans are just regular folks, no better or worse than the rest of the citizens of Canada.

    Let me be very clear to all on this forum. The province of Alberta is not and does not whine. There are many of us that have, we simply must support out fellow citizens even if our politicians don/t. We will stand up and bark from time to time, as we please as our right to do so allows us.

    I ask one thing from folks. Research the NEP. Find out what it did, how it was done and what happened in terms of social fallout from that political policy coined at the hands of the feds. If that doe not convince you we were abused by federal hands, check out how the Liberal government of the day dealt with our Premier of the day Bible Bill Aberhart. The province really hasn't had a fair shake if the truth was widely known. So it boils down to trust, not something the average Albertan has for the average politician of whatever stripe.

    I am pro democracy. I favour direct democracy. I am against anything that I believe screws me over.

    Well now that's a little more reasonable. I may live in Ontario now, but I don't consider myself to be a dyed in the wool Ontarian. I have strong Maritime roots, and still consider that my home, even though I haven't lived there for over a decade. There are different values out there and a different pace and outlook on life.

    Alberta was hurt by the NEP sure, but they are not the only region in Canada to suffer at the hands of the feds. Ontario and Quebec have a long history of funneling money to the center. Many westerners speak of funneling money east, well that's true, but the train stops at the Quebec boarder for the most part.

    Anyone who has studied Canadian history knows the wealth of the Maritimes was in Coal, Fish, Lumber, Shipbuilding, and the numerous year round ice free ports! The latter is particularly large bone of contention for most Maritimers. As you feel about Ontario, most Maritimers feel about Quebec.

    The Feds funnel millions and millions of dollars every year to have ice breakers keep the St. Lawrence sea-way ice free, when instead they could use the year round ice free ports in the Bay of Fundy! Because Quebec has a larger population that's where the Fed's focused funds to develop ports in that area rather than maintaining the fully functional and far cheaper to operate year round ports that already existed. This is but one example, and there are numerous more, but as mentioned given the amount of coast line in the Maritimes this one certainly stings the most.

    Maritimers are just as hard working as any Albertan, in fact many of them have moved from their homes to go and work in Alberta. Many of my uncles, cousins etc. are there even now. This is one of the many challenges the Maritimes faces, declining industries combined with declining population due to emigration is only exacerbating the issue. Much of the wealth of the Maritimes is spent, coal isn't what it used to be, the Fisheries are in trouble for a myriad of reasons, and Forestry is so efficient now it doesn't require nearly as many men to harvest and process the lumber as it did even a decade ago.

    I see the same potential hard times perhaps befalling Alberta, which at present if we're being honest has a one trick pony of an economy. It's not about just a willingness to work hard that generates wealth; you have to have something valuable to work hard at. Economies shift and commodities are only valuable so long as someone else wants them. Coal is a prime example of this. The Martimes contributed a great deal to get Ontario and Quebec to where they are today, and they have precious little to show for it now. Sadly the number one export from the Maritimes presently is human resources.

  7. It doesn't matter where the PM comes from. They will still bow to, and placate, Ontario and Quebec.

    As they should, the bulk of the population is in those two provinces. That's the idea behind rep by pop. The senate is intended to balance that out and curtail the tyranny of the majority. It's not quite fully functioning that way, but it's a site better than if we didn't have the senate.

  8. Alberta IS doing better than most. Get over it. In fact we are going to do much better. There will 3 million bpd production within the next five years, just out of the oil sands. Our entire provincial budget will be covered with royalty income from our resource development.

    This is the primary reason TROC takes issue with Albertans, in one breath they complain about how they've always been treated like crap, and in the second breath they brag about how superior they are to TROC. It's kind of poor form and makes it hard to sympathize with what happened during the NEP.

    This province is far from needing the nation to do anything for us

    Except a workforce that is derived from every region in the Canada, mostly the East, which you're so fond of reminding, how much better then them you are.

    we can and shall do it for ourselves.

    Just not a locally and self sustained work force.

    That is why we seek the reforms and changes that we do, because we actually want to look after ourselves instead of having a nanny state do it for us.

    So do all regions, it's not just Alberta that has been overpowered by ON and Quebec, its the Atlantic, Alberta and all the western provinces. I agree, we need to reform the senate, as it currently stands it's not functioning as intended. However, I think smallc is correct, senate reform will not be sufficient to make the dissenting Albertans happy. They see the power Ontario has, based on population and a robust economy and want that power too. Unfortunately oil money can't buy that kind of power.

    Here is a prediction for you anti-Alberta folks. Gives us ten years, and we will do away with provincial income taxes at both the personal and business ends of the scale. Just because we can, the province will undertake a sales tax, bringing in more revenue. The sales tax will fund healthcare and education. The province will opt out of, EI, CPP, and everything else under federal fiscal computations. At that point we won't even need to separate, we will have done it all without the help of anyone else.

    I'd say you're an Anti-anything but Albertan. Again it's hard to want to listen to someone who's constantly touting how superior they are to you.

  9. The left has no argument or data, only fear. And that is why Harper won in the first place.

    Not entirely accurate, there are plenty of good arguments and data on "the left". The problem as present is the vote split. The LPC are believed to be a "left" party even though they arguably haven't been thus since the Trudeau era. So many lump the NDP and LPC together. This generated many vote splits like we saw in Ontario which worked to the CPC's advantage. In many cases there were very close calls, my own riding was a few hundred votes. Many ridings were closer than that.

  10. Yes and no....there are many examples of it not "working" for some of those nations. When it didn't, it was changed or "dispensed" with.

    Indeed as the US is well aware, however, "not liking the election results" is a reason that is conspicuously absent from the list. Not liking and not functioning are entirely different affairs.

  11. Oh well, I'm sure you'll end up as a statistic in due time. Liberals lack morals. That is what makes a Liberal a Liberal. It's really true. Some consider the fundamental thing that makes a Liberal is the definition of 'without moral'. They see people as objects. They don't have values and morals.

    Seriously? Wish I had the world wrapped up in a neat little package like you seem to have. (ie. anyone who doesn't think, act or believe as I do isn't moral.) What specific morals are you referring to? Are you the sole arbiter of all things right and good in the world? Compartmentalization is great for your closet, it shouldn't be applied to people.

    "follow the man who seeks the truth, run from the man who has found it"

  12. What's jarring is that a mere 10% difference in votes gave the Conservatives 50% more seats than the NDP. That's hardly a break from the status quo. It's an indication that our electoral system is a pile of crap.

    Oddly enough it's navigated us through several wars, economic and social crisis as well as disasters. Yes indeed the system is broken, let's dispense with something that has worked for the better part of 5 centuries in a myriad of nations across the world, for something yet unproven and random, because God forbid we upset another senate page.

  13. I'm not saying that protestors shouldn't be arrested for doing illegal things and if they have a case against Brigette and choose to take it to court, they should. Part of the process of dissent is facing the consequences for your actions. Her being brought to trial and possibly facing a jail term would be poetic. Stephen Harper's government is found in contempt of Parliament and he gets a majority mandate a couple months later. A lowly young, female page is found in contempt of Parliament for silently holding a sign during the throne speech and she gets run through the courts and put in jail. This is the beauty of protest. Facing the consequences for your actions and trying to get your message out regardless.

    To quote Herbert Marshal McLuhan "The Medium is the Message". This type of behavior causes me, and others to dismiss her outright, and in fact has the opposite effect of what she was trying to achieve. She comes across as a childish glory seeking "whackado" worthy of derision and not praise. You see what you have to say is significantly less important in most cases as to how you say it. I wish I could find the example I'm looking for but for now this will have to suffice. Consider the following sentence to illustrate my point. Depending on how we form the sentence in terms of punctuation the message is completely different. "Woman without her man is nothing"

    "Woman, without her man, is nothing"


    "Woman; without her, man is nothing"

    The words are precisely the same but the form dictates what the message actually says. That is the difference and THAT is the problem with how she chose to deliver her message. On a side not she's not even particularly brave, yes she was fired, but her term was up in 2 weeks anyway what did she really have to lose? She certainly gained media attention and apparently several job offers, so forgive me if I feel the whole affair was entirely bereft of high political ideals and a love of democracy, and much more about shameless self promotion.

    If this behavior is acceptable why do not all Canadians have access to hold up signs in the senate when they feel they too have something important to say? Why not let anyone off the street into parliament at any time they need to express their personal opinions? I'm certain this type of direct and open democracy would only serve to improve our nation and increase productivity 10,000 fold. Actually let's dispense with Parliament entirely, let's just govern ourselves via online forums, and anyone can speak their mind at any time and we'll just govern on a whim! After all EVERYONE has something important to say, and they should be able to voice their opinions at any time they feel the urge to do so.

  14. I'm inclined to agree with Army guy. As much as it saddens me, the shipbuilding industry is in fact dead in Canada; to say otherwise is to delude ourselves. The reasons are manifold, and mostly political, but that's neither here nor there. Suffice it to say, we would not be able to sufficiently rebuild the ship building industry in Canada in time to build these ships. Further it would take a significant amount of investment on the part of the government to research, train the necessary personnel to maintain and grow the industry.

    The reality is we would be our only customer's at this point which I believe is the essence of what Army guy is trying to get to. We didn't maintain the expertise we had and other countries have long since passed us, we would have a lot of catching up to do, until we got to the quality level that others are already able to produce. Until we get there, we would not be able to expect other countries to buy our product if they can get a higher quality elsewhere. In a global economy this must be the goal, we simply don't have the demand currently to maintain the industry on our own.

    I have to agree though; we can't expect to get experience in building modern war ships unless we start building modern warships domestically. However, if we're going to go this route we must be prepared to make significant investments to do so, far more than what is currently planned. As mentioned above we would need to maintain it long enough to build the quality level to compete in the global market. Our best bet is to find a niche that is not yet filled. The US has a wide array of great designs which serve various roles, but there are still many areas they don't really specialize in. The Danes for example have a great support class ship, the Absalon class. In our hay day we built some decent destroyer class ships, perhaps we could go that route again.

    Theory-crafting aside we simply don't have the current expertise or infrastructure necessary to build the ships we need. It's easy for those of us sitting at home comfortably to say, we should build them in Canada, even if the quality is subpar when we're not the ones whose lives are depending on the functionality and dependability of this equipment. I can completely see where Armyguy is coming from, I'm sure he's had his share of experience with equipment that wasn't up to snuff. We've given our folks in the Army/Navy/Air Force a job to do; the least we can do is give them the best tools available to do the job. If we can't build it ourselves or are unwilling to invest in the development of the industry long term then we must purchase this from those countries that can build it for us.

  15. Every time someone directs yet another inappropriately sour and personal comment to that young woman I want her to succeed all the more, make you all choke on your runaway sexism. Really, if Maxime Bernier (for one glaring example) can be treated as a credible adult, the bar is snake-belly looooo-o-ow. All she's ever done to offend anyone,or to earn such withering disrespect is to let her name stand, and be chosen.

    What a crime. What a heinous sin.

    I agree, the razing is a wee bit over the top, but at the same time, it was poor form to go out of the country on election night, even if you didn't expect to win. It does demonstrate a certain lack of seriousness towards the position. However, poorly begun is only half done, and since then she has put forth a great deal of effort to grow into her responsibilities. She even speaks french better than Mr. Harper now :)

  16. IOW, I fear that Harper (and the Conservatives) will grow complacent and in 2014, they will face a real opposition that suddenly has come out of nowhere.

    I fear worse still, that they won't have real opposition in the next election and they will follow the same path as the LPC, grow arrogant and corrupt due to lack of competition. I sincerely hope this is not a cycle we've entered into. People should not be celebrating the likely death of the LPC, the NDP isn't even remotely prepared to fill their shoes. It may seem like everything is coming up roses for the CPC now, but I think the current situation will only lead to disaster for the CPC if they are left uncontested for too long. Our system functions best when we have two relatively evenly matched parties to keep each other honest (mmm I hesitate to use the word in reference to a politician) and accountable. Only the threat of being replaced by a strong rival keeps the party in power in check. Running uncontested, for too long means we all lose out.

  17. Secondly do you really belive that the PM would give a lone page a private audience to discuss political direction?


    I wasn't aware that was part of a senate pages responsibilities. That is to be a part of the Prime Minister of the Commons direct council. I also wasn't aware that Senate pages were afforded special access to the PM that ordinary citizens were not, or that they have the ability to express their personal political opinions on my dime. The sad thing in all this is I don't even really disagree with her statement about Mr. Harper. That's besides the point, there is a time and a place for dissent and the middle of the throne speech is not it., she abused her power and privileged access to the senate and what's worse has likely made life much more scrutinized and difficult for the pages that remain or even pages yet to come. She should be treated like any other political figure that is found in breech of their office or found to have abused their unique access. Perhaps Helena Gurgis would like to chime in on this?

  18. I think at least going back to the four region model would be a good idea. That would only mean changes in the seat numbers of 3 provinces. PEI would get 2 more seats, and NB and NS would each lose 4. That would mean that the West, Ontario, Quebec, and the Atlantic would all have the same number of Senators. Whether the north has it's 3 senators is neither here nor there, as far as I'm concerned.

    Not too bad idea. Although I think Molly has a valid Point about the territories. We need to have provisions set in place that if/when they reach provincial status they will be afforded an equal share in the senate. It was this lack of planning in the beginning that created the power imbalance in East vs. West to start with. Keeping in mind that when Canada was formed, Manitoba and BC constituted the "West" and Manitoba was significantly smaller are and population wise back then. I think a standard assigned number of seats for each province is best really.

  19. You don't like mine, but you like his? Where is your grievance? Under his system, the west has 16 seats to eastern Canada's 32. You seem to complain that the west doesn't have enough seats now, but under his system, they only have less than a third of seats.

    My system gives each major region an equal number of seats (BC, AB (yes I know AB can be considered prairie, but it is too populated now to be lumped in), Prairies (SK/MB), ON, QC, and Atlantic), and it gives eastern and western Canada an equal number of seats (24 to 24), with the balance of power in the territories.

    The problem with your system is you fail to account for the fact that it's not an east west dynamic. It's an Atlantic, Central Canada, West dynamic. The Atlantic provinces have little in common with Ontario and Quebec. The distribution is better in Bonam's suggestion, as it allows for 16 in the Atlantic, 16 in Central, and 16 in the west, that's a perfect balance imo.

  20. Place that federal governance in the hands of the provinces... hmmm.

    What would happen, I wonder, to so many provinces tendency to vote one way federally and the opposite way provincially? What would be the implications of having Mr. McGuinty choosing senators for Mr.Harper?

    An excellent point I hadn't considered. I suppose there truly is no way to avoid patronage appointments, its either on the provincial or federal level. I suppose we'd be trading one issue for another. I still don't like that the PM appoints the senators, perhaps it should be a parliamentary committee that makes the appointment?

  21. Exactly. Exactly! But tyranny of the majority is not solved by creating a tyranny of the minority. That is why I am suggesting that there needs to be some kind of balance, just not one that conforms nicely to rep-by-pop, which is obviously the wrong way to go in the Senate. A number of Senate experts believe that an elected Senate especially would take for itself more power than the House of Commons has, and if that happened under a Senate in which a much smaller minority could over-rule the majority with ease, it would it a very poor outcome for our democracy.

    Indeed, which is precisely why I don't buy into the Triple E garbage. In order for the senate to be effective it by definition must NOT be elected. Simply moving the power of appointment from the PM to the provinces/regions they represent would go a long way to fix the current problems. Equal would be better, but at the very least give the power to the povinces/regions to appoint their own senators, this would offer somewhat more accountability to the regions they hail from.

  22. Again I live in real Canada where PMs appoint their closest friends or the most staunch party members to make sure they vote how they want. I don't live in pretend Canada the Fathers of Confederation envisioned. I am sure their Canada is awesome BTW it just isn't exactly what they envisioned.

    Just keep on repeating the party line blindly punked, God forbid you think for yourself or even consider another line of thinking. Why are you so hell bent on destroying something that if corrected would benefit our country and solve many of the inequities? Ontario and Quebec seized the lions share of the power and has held onto it for far too long. This is why there is much resentment in the west and even the Atlantic towards central Canada. You are a prime example of a typically oblivious, I'm every Canadian Ontarian.

  23. There seems to be an assumption of bare acknowledgement for the north,and to me, that doesn't seem appropriate. That's becoming action central/ is facing huge decisions that will have permanent (not just long-term) effects, yet we would eschew the enforceable advice of those who are intimately familiar with it?

    Did we learn nothing from the developement of the western provinces?

    A fair point Molly, though the rules surrounding territories are indeed different then those of provinces. However, we should likely put in provisions should the territory reach provincial status and they become and equal, self sustained partner is confederation.

    To those who are suggesting ON and PQ should still have more senators than the rest of the province I can't agree. That may be the reality of it to get them on board, but honestly the senate is not intended to be rep-by-pop in the least, it is the balance to the tyranny of the majority. We have the lower house to handle the pop vote, the senate is suppose to temper that and realistically should be evenly distributed. Having said that Bonam's suggestion is certainly workable, as at most ON and PQ combines only have 16 seats, that's equal to the combined seats of the West and the Atlantic provinces and is certainly a far more fair and equal distribution then what we currently have.

  24. And it's only going to get worse if we keep electing bozo's like Jim Flaherty: his budgets have all these little stupid tax credits in them so that the CRA then hires more people to looke at receipts to make sure Johnny's swim class was 8 weeks long so his mom and dad can get $75 back on their tax return (yes, I'm serious, they actually contact accountants who have efiled tax returns to look at these receipts).

    Simplify the tax system (including GST/HST) and then lets reduce the payroll at CRA.

    In that order.

    I'm with you on that. I'm more a fan of no income tax, but since that will likely never happen, we need to make it a low reasonable rate for all with little to no exemptions/credits. Why should tax first be collected and then refunded? This means that people like you and I have no shortage of employment, but for the little business guy who can't necessarily afford a comprehensive business system or a tax accountant can easily get swamped. They have to know all the tax laws, know the filing procedures and what they qualify for in terms of exemptions/credits. This guy is more concerned with the day to day running of his business and shouldn't have to worry about learning an overly complicated tax and refund system.

    Honestly all these piddly little credits makes a great deal of hassle for folks in your industry and mine. I work for a company that makes Business software, and the reports that some of the provinces require and the feds is utterly unbelievable sometimes. Having said that the CRA is a gem to deal with over the IRS in the US or God forbid the state tax agency in Louisiana which is one of the most complex and sub-compartmentalized tax structures I've ever encountered.

    I don't think the average person realizes how expensive all these tax credits really are. It's not so much about the revenue loss, as the beauty of a refund is, you technically have it in your operating funds for the duration of the fiscal year, however, the administration required to maintain, audit and administer these credits can be staggering. Oddly enough these folks are disinclined to work for free :)

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