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    Canadians are concerned about Bill C-51 and speaking out! The following is an informed and interesting read in that regard. C-51 – Subverting That Pesky Charter As a citizen, a veteran, a father and grandfather, I have followed carefully the unfolding of the government’s legislative approach to its critical responsibility to defend Canadians against the threat of terrorism. This analysis, focused on a particular aspect of Bill C-51, is non-partisan. I feel somewhat qualified to advance some thoughts, based upon more than 40 years in the law, including work as defence counsel and prosecutor, service as a military judge, service as a member of a Federal quasi-judicial tribunal, provision of operational advice to investigating authorities in the police and intelligence communities, and countless hours of analyzing laws and government actions as to their compliance with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In particular, I’m interested in Part 4 of Bill C-51, which proposes amendments to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act to permit CSIS “to take, within and outside Canada, measures to reduce threats to the security of Canada, including measures that are authorized by the Federal Court.” Who could argue with taking measures to reduce threats to the security of Canada? What could go wrong? Please note immediately that this is a radical change in the CSIS role. At present, CSIS is authorized only to “collect, by investigation or otherwise, to the extent that it is strictly necessary, and analyse and retain information and intelligence respecting activities that may on reasonable grounds be suspected of constituting threats to the security of Canada…”. Actually taking measures to reduce threats is a whole new mandate – think every dramatic national security TV show and movie you’ve seen, think break and enter, think aggressive hacking, think rendition, think “enhanced interrogation”. Canadians have two great shields against the willful or stupid abuse of the power of the state. Our general protection – the cornerstone in the foundation of democracy – comes in the form of the Rule of Law. Canada is a country “where everyone is subject to the law; (where) no one, no matter how important or powerful, is above the law — not the government; not the prime minister, or any other minister; not the Queen or the Governor General or any lieutenant-governor; not the most powerful bureaucrat; not the armed forces; not Parliament itself, or any provincial legislature.” (Thank you, Eugene Forsey). Our specific protections are enumerated in the early sections of the Charter, which is, simply, “the supreme law of Canada”. Of particular interest are our rights to life, liberty and security of the person, the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure and the right not to be arbitrarily detained or imprisoned. What’s to worry about? With these rights firmly in place, nothing. That’s why C-51 is so wrong-headed, so dangerous, so objectionable. If enacted as written, C-51 will allow CSIS, with virtually no effective control or oversight, to ride roughshod over the Charter and its protections. It’s important to understand some things about the Charter. First, it was designed to be very hard to change: a change requires more broad-based political agreement in Canada than you’re going to see in my time. No country-wide consensus, no change, and that’s a good thing: our rights aren’t meant to be easily swept away. Specifically, the contents of the Charter cannot be changed by the Federal government acting alone. Second, although the rights aren’t absolute, the state’s ability to limit them is severely constrained. There is a provision (the “notwithstanding” clause --section 33 of the Charter) which, within limitations, allows the government to temporarily override some Charter rights. It has never been used by the Federal government. Not only would it require an Act of Parliament for every single use, the political cost would be incalculable. Definitely not a helpful tool for CSIS. Charter rights are guaranteed, “subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society”. A small number of “reasonable limit” cases have been decided by the Supreme Court of Canada after the presentation of highly complex and detailed evidence and argument on both sides of the issue. Taken together, these provisions make it plain that there simply is no quiet or easy way for the state or its agents (read CSIS) to get around that pesky Charter. Let’s keep that in mind as we look at the new powers proposed for CSIS under Bill C-51. CSIS officials will be able to apply in secret to a Federal Court judge, for a warrant allowing them to contravene a right or freedom guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Applications will be wholly one-sided, and will be based entirely on the wish list presented by the CSIS official applying for permission to violate someone’s Charter rights. If I were appearing before the Commons Committee looking at C-51, I’d want to know how the applicant’s wish list could conceivably be considered “prescribed by law”. I’d question the wisdom of handing a “reasonable limit” determination to a single Federal Court judge who won’t even be hearing both sides of the argument. I’d ask how appropriate it is to give that single judge the power to strike down a Charter right in a proceeding the record of which will almost certainly never see the light of day. I’d demand to know how that judge’s rulings on warrant applications will be appealed or reviewed (hint: there’s no provision for that in C-51, not even for a review by SIRC). C-51 is nothing more than a camouflaged attempt to hand CSIS extraordinary and frightening power to contravene Canadians’ Charter rights with very little control and no apparent oversight. Does “police state” ring a bell? These proposed measures evoke thoughts of Stalin and the Stasi. There’s no convincing evidence that we need C-51 as it stands. Canada will be the worse for it. Sincerely, Fred Blair Wooler, Ontario (Capt (N) (Ret'd) Fred Blair is an Ontario lawyer and a former Deputy Judge Advocate General)
    Mar 23, 2015 12:28 pm | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings
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    Farley Mowat speaks from the grave through an impassioned and so called "retired journo", who will never get published in the local Sun Media. Very much worth a read. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Kids will never die in Iraq or Iran. Other sons & daughters will. Dear Editor: Back in 2003 when Republican George Bush lied to his own citizens and the rest of our world about Saddam Hussein’s “weapons of mass destruction”, to justify his invasion of Iraq, Canadians would have followed the Americans into that bloody desert if Stephen Harper had been our Prime Minister at the time. If the Republicans gain the presidency of the United States in 2016 and Harper is re-elected as Prime Minister in 2015 chances are very good Canadian soldiers will soon be dying in Iran. Benjamin Netanyahu made that very clear when he was greeted with thunderous applause as he told Republicans crowding the US Congress last week that Iran was proceeding with its plans to get nuclear weapons to wipe Israel from the face of the Earth and something should be done about it now! Stephen Harper is unequivocal in his backing of whatever Israel does. If you do not believe me ask Senator Irving Gerstein, the Conservative Party’s head of fundraising. On February 23, 2011, Irving Gerstein was charged along with Senator Doug Finley for violations of the Canada Elections Act. Elections Canada alleged that Irving Gerstein was complicit in a scheme that involved filing false tax claims and exceeding federal spending limits on campaign advertisements. If found guilty, Gerstein would have faced up to a year in prison and fines exceeding $25,000; however, the charges were dropped after the Conservative Party agreed to pay a $52,000 fine. Chump change to Conservatives. All Canadian taxpayers are the chumps. If the above noted players are still in power over the next couple of years much more Canadian blood will flow into the sand of the Middle East. On Saturday, March 7, 2015 Canadians learned that one Canadian soldier was killed and three others wounded just behind the front line in Iraq. Friendly fire is just as deadly as unfriendly fire. Few Canadian’s believed Harper’s lie that we would be bombing Iraq with our F18s for just 60 days. He might as well have told us 10 days. This conflict has no end. We will only get in deeper, especially if the political cards fall as described above. Fifty-five seconds of clarity were left behind on the cell phone of the religious lunatic who charged onto Parliament Hill with a rifle, murdering one innocent along the way while forcing Harper to hide in a closet. Harper continually tells us he is making Canadians safer by forging Canada into a warrior nation like the Americans. In truth he is doing exactly the opposite as these words of the killer on the Hill prove: “This is in retaliation for Afghanistan and because Harper wants to send his troops to Iraq. So we are retaliating, the Mujahedin of this world. Canada’s officially become one of our enemies by fighting and bombing us. Stop occupying and killing the righteous of us who are trying to bring back religious laws in our countries. Thank you.” Therein lies the truth. While Harper takes cynical advantage of death-delivering tragedies to instill hyper-fear into Canadians on a daily basis to further his evangelical agenda what he is actually doing is making us more vulnerable to terrorism. He uses fear as the cover for his current move through Bill C-51 to establish a network of secret police. In the last chapter of Party of One author Michael Harris goes out to Cape Breton to visit Farley Mowat. Farley’s analysis of the current state of affairs was, “We don’t elect pacifists. We admire the killer instincts in leaders. It’s genetic. It is inevitable that people in high positions like Harper reach out for a bloody stick or sword. The people who run the world today are psychopaths. Everybody can see it, so why are we so obedient? All they care about is the economy because that means money. A virus is sweeping through the human race. At the top, all over the world, we are rotting away as a species from the top down. The leaders have gone beyond greed to the sheer amassing of power. There is no effective morality, just power.” And when asked what he thought of Margaret Atwood’s comment that Stephen Harper’s modus operandi was “Stalinist.” Farley replied: “Stalin had small balls compared to this guy. Stephen Harper is probably the most dangerous human being ever elevated to power in Canada. How the population has acquiesced in following this son of a bitch, and to let him take over their lives, I’ll never know. You have to create warrior nations, they are not born. They have to be made. It is the preliminary step of a tyrant. And this son of a bitch incited Canada to become a warrior nation.” In conclusion Farley said, that Fall in Cape Breton just before his death, “About the country and our future. It is like an aura that seems to have gone wrong. I have the sound of old cannon fired in 1812 in my ears. It is the sound of war again. War is coming back. There is an inevitable sense about it. I’m pretty pessimistic.” I fear Farley’s pessimism was well placed. Alan Coxwell Stirling, Ontario
    Mar 14, 2015 6:26 pm | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings

February

January

September

May

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    TODAY'S EMAIL BLAST: CANADA NEEDS A GOVERNMENT OF STRONG LIBERALS Dear Fellow Liberal, I write to seek your support to represent you as your Liberal Candidate for our new Bay of Quinte riding. I hope that you have the Nominee Selection meeting marked in your calendar and that you are available to attend. Time 2:30 pm Date Sunday, May 25th Place the Greek Hall (70 Harder Parkway Drive, Belleville), This is a vitally important step in the restoration of Canada, following years of Harper’s damaging reign. Why nominate me to represent you and carry the Liberal banner in the 2015 battle for our country? Here are three important reasons: I have lived and worked in all parts of our riding – Quinte West, Belleville and the County. Based on my knowledge and understanding of our local issues, I will give you forceful and effective representation in Ottawa. During a long career in both the Canadian Forces and civilian life, I have successfully carried out senior leadership responsibilities in law enforcement, civic engagement, international law, and the application of sound democratic governance practices both in Canada and abroad. I am outraged by how badly the Harper government has damaged genuine, well-informed public discourse in Canada. They are dismantling the CBC, undermining democracy and tarnishing the Canadian brand worldwide. I passionately want to fix what they’ve broken. I know you do, too. Put my education and experience to work helping get Canada – and our riding – back on track. Our nomination selection meeting has been called at such short notice that it’s going to be hard to meet you all personally. Members of my team and I are reaching out by telephone and we will go wherever we can gather even a few of you together for direct contact. In the meantime, please contact me at 613-848-9925 or peter@petertinsley.ca with your questions or concerns. I look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely, Peter Tinsley www.facebook.com/petertinsleyliberal Photo: Peter at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) – Gender in Oversight Conference2013
    May 19, 2014 12:21 pm | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings
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    A RECENT EMAIL BLAST: Peter Tinsley, CD1, Hons BA, JD 1340 County Road 3, RR1 Carrying Place ON K0K 1L0 (613) 848-9925 peter@petertinsley.ca facebook.com/petertinsleyliberal Life-long Liberal, 28-year veteran of the Canadian Forces, lawyer, advisor to senior government authorities, internationally-recognized expert on good governance and the rule of law, active in our community’s child welfare and education. Nominate Peter TINSLEY as the first Candidate of the Bay of Quinte Federal Liberal Association Dear Fellow Liberal, I am running to become your Liberal Candidate for the Bay of Quinte. Stand with me on May 25. Let’s move forward to win this seat for our party – and for our children, community and country. With your support, I will work tirelessly to • Stop Harper’s dismantling of the nation we know and love • Fight for a stronger, fairer, more prosperous Canada for all • Represent all parts of our community, from Quinte West, to CFB Trenton, to Belleville, to Prince Edward County We’re proud to be Canadian, proud to be Liberals, proud of ourselves as decent human beings. Take back the real Canada. Let’s reclaim our true nature as an open-minded, decent country, known worldwide for our fairness. Let’s become known, once again, as a nation standing for peace in a troubled world. Let’s – Build industry here and across our country, not more resource extraction spewing megatons of toxic waste. Focus on creating real jobs that build our nation’s wealth and provide opportunities for youth. Start here, in our riding, by implementing policies that build our local economy and create the jobs we need for ourselves and our families. Stop Harper’s dismantling of the nation we know and love Over the past six years, Harper’s gang has worked relentlessly to destroy everything Canada stands for. • Ongoing Contempt of Parliament • Claiming to support the military when it suits his political purposes, then pulling the rug out from under veterans who have put their lives on the line for us • Shoving aside Canada’s diplomats so he can swagger and bully overseas • Muzzling scientific, evidence-based research • Stuffing ideologically-based laws into massive omnibus bills rammed through parliament • Labeling environmental concerns as “extremist” whenever they challenge self-serving misinformation spread by oil-baron sponsors of the Conservative clique • Slandering, in a fit of pique, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court • … the list goes on and on. I will work with Justin to stop and roll back Conservative plunder Fight for a stronger, fairer, more prosperous Canada Together, we can • Build a future for ourselves and our children • Return honesty and transparency to government • Create an economic future that provides opportunities to all, not just wealth to a few • Restore good governance to ensure solid, long-term solutions to our challenges • Base policies on the best scientific evidence available, not on specious ideology • Honour our veterans. Give them the support they need after they gave their all for us Work to make our community all it can be • Our new riding is now a community with shared objectives. I have lived and worked throughout this riding, from Prince Edward County to Quinte West to Belleville • As a 28-year veteran of the Canadian Forces, I know how much our Service men and women contribute – not only to national defence, but economically and socially right here in our riding • Let’s get all levels of government – federal, provincial, and municipal – working together. Lean on my experience. We’ll get that rolling. • Let’s support local community organizations that keep our region strong and healthy, that help build future generations through education and child protection. • Let’s make sure that Ottawa plays fair with our community. On May 25, I’ll need your support to get all this done. Call or email me anytime to chat or let me know of your concerns and aspirations. Leverage my years of experience in senior levels of government. Nominate me as your Candidate. I’ll stand up for you. Sincerely, Peter Tinsley
    May 18, 2014 7:28 am | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings
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    A great evening with Joyce Murray MP at the Bridge Forum on Wednesday evening. A pleasure to hear straight talk from a dedicated MP who is clearly in touch with the important issues!
    May 16, 2014 11:18 am | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings
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    Day of Honour at the Afghanistan Memorial in Quinte West. Large crowd and moving ceremony. Was glad I could be there.
    May 09, 2014 12:52 pm | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings
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    Very pleased to have been "green-lighted" for the nomination contest. So now's the time to run, not walk! Calling on all who are Bay of Quinte riding residents to make sure that their LPC memberships are up to date! I ask for your support! Nomination campaign contributions gratefully accepted - contact Financial Agent, Don O'Neill - don.oneill@sympatico.ca
    May 05, 2014 1:01 pm | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings
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    Very honoured to have received the endorsement below for nomination as the Liberal candidate in the new riding of Bay of Quinte! Let’s Send Our Most Qualified Candidate to Ottawa – Peter Tinsley By Don O’Neill (Don is a long-time resident of Quinte West, a veteran of many campaigns and always a Liberal!) Dear Liberals of “Bay of Quinte”, The Liberal Party will win in 2015 both nationally and locally. The momentum is solidly in Justin Trudeau’s/our Liberal favour. The Harper government is under attack from all sides, even from within their own ranks. There are open contenders for Stephen Harper’s position. Backbenchers are speaking out against PMO policies and behaviour. Public opinion is shifting as Canadians wake up to the reality of a secretive and dishonest government. We will win so we need to send our most qualified candidate to Ottawa. We need to send the candidate who can hit the ground running - the one with a wealth of federal, provincial and international experience. The one whose connections are nation-wide and world-wide. The one who, in a federal appointment, has stood up to Stephen Harper’s undemocratic policies. The one who has the education and experience, not only to best support the new Liberal government’s front bench and senior decision-makers, but to win results for our community. That person is Peter Tinsley. As a 28 year veteran of the Canadian Forces, a lawyer, and advisor to senior government authorities, Peter has served in Canada and abroad. He and his family first came to our region in 1988, when he was posted to CFB Trenton as a military lawyer. They have lived in Quinte West, Belleville and now Prince Edward County. Upon leaving the military, Peter opened a law practice in Belleville prior to being appointed as the Director of Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit. Commencing in 2003 he worked for three years as an international prosecutor in Kosovo and Bosnia. Subsequently, Peter was appointed Chair of the Military Police Complaints Commission. Recognised nationally and internationally as an expert on good governance and the Rule of Law, Peter has presented in Europe, Africa, Central & South America, as well as for the United Nations Development Programme Iraq and Bangladesh. Most recently, Peter was sought by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe to speak on women’s issues in oversight. He was a guest speaker at Liberal-sponsored round tables on governance, during Harper’s prorogation in 2010. Two years later, Peter addressed the McGill Institute’s conference on The Future of Justice in Canada. In 2013 he was called to testify before two parliamentary committees studying new legislation. His contribution to a book about oversight in Canada will be published by Canada Law Book later this year. As a member of our community, Peter has been active in child welfare and education. He was the Chair of the CFB Trenton School Board and subsequently served on volunteer committees of the Hastings County School Board. He was also a member of the Children’s Aid Society Board for nine years, including three years as Chair. In 2002, Peter received an Ontario Volunteer Service Award. In 2011, facing stiff electoral headwinds, Peter ran as our PEH Liberal candidate, attracting a team of 300 volunteers, many of whom were not yet Party members! Peter has lived and worked in each of the three municipalities of our riding. He understands the uniqueness of each, as well as the strong community of interest that binds them together. In 2012, his was the lone voice that convinced the Boundaries Commission to abandon their original proposal and bring us together as the “Bay of Quinte” riding. Peter is passionate about Liberal philosophy and policies concerning the economy, the environment, equality of opportunity, and the fair treatment of all Canadians, including the treatment of Canadian Forces personnel and veterans. Dedicated to representative and accountable government, Peter will represent and fight for local needs – your needs! I know him to be a man of integrity and principle. Peter will be a strong voice for us! Let’s not miss this chance to send an exceptionally qualified, highly experienced candidate to the House of Commons. I encourage you to support Peter Tinsley as Bay of Quinte’s Liberal Candidate and first Member of Parliament. Sincerely, Don O’Neill It’s time for us to pull together!
    May 01, 2014 1:00 pm | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings

March

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    In a letter to the G&M regarding the Fair Elections Act published Mar. 24th Pierre Poilievre stated: "Canadians instinctively understand that these changes are reasonable and fair. That is why they have not shared the critic's hysteria." So, if you disagree about the "fairness" of the Bill you are, according to Mr. Poilievre, a hysterical non-Canadian?? Well a large group of true Canadians in disagreement showed up at MP Daryl Kramp's office today to protest and deliver a petition to "Kill the Bill". None of them showed any signs of hysteria, but more than a little upset and even anger was evident. Was proud to be amongst them!
    Mar 25, 2014 1:05 pm | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings

February

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    A great evening tonight at the annual Heritage Dinner held for the first time in Quinte West, the new and great addition to the riding. A powerful speech by human rights leader Senator Mobina Jaffer concerning the plight of girls & woman, nationally and internationally, provided much to think about and left not many dry eyes in the house. Why is the Canadian Government not doing more?
    Feb 26, 2014 7:24 pm | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings
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    After receiving several questions regarding the details of the policy resolutions it occurred to me that I should have provided a link to see them. Here it is - http://convention.liberal.ca/2014-policy-resolutions/
    Feb 25, 2014 6:15 am | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings
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    A very invigorating and interesting convention! I am very happy to have had the opportunity to attend along with a number of other dedicated Liberals from BoQ and adjoining ridings - see attached photo - a few members of our team! There were some far sighted and caring policy resolutions passed. Some of them, such as the decriminalization of assisted suicide, will undoubtedly attract immediate criticism. Just remember that these resolutions are statements of principle and, as clearly stated within them, will require careful study to define the details of implementation. Follow the discussion and contribute your thoughts!
    Feb 24, 2014 5:53 am | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings
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    Getting ready to depart for the Montreal Convention and looking forward to it! Very glad to have decided some time ago to travel by train!!
    Feb 20, 2014 6:51 am | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings
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    A very powerful and thoughtful piece re Veterans to which on Twitter I have asked Juli and Daryl to respond - please note the part re an attack on any Cdn soldier is an attack on all of us! http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/jeff-rosemartland/veterans-union-pawn_b_4747519.html?utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false
    Feb 08, 2014 5:33 pm | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings
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    Just in case you missed it - Mercer's take on Min Fantino's/the CPC's treatment of Vets. He sums things up so eloquently - worth a look! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I62tCACI7tg&sns=em
    Feb 05, 2014 12:06 pm | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings

January

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    An inspiring Veteran's story. Too bad that there are not more of those today with Min. Fantino insulting and crushing Vets!! THE VETERAN ON OUR TEN DOLLAR BILL.... If you look at the back right-hand side of a Canadian $10 bill, you will see an old veteran standing at attention near the Ottawa war memorial. His name is Robert Metcalfe and he died last month at the age of 90. That he managed to live to that age is rather remarkable, given what happened in the Second World War. Born in England, he was one of the 400,000 members of the British Expeditionary Force sent to the mainland where they found themselves facing the new German warfare technique - the Blitzkrieg. He was treating a wounded comrade when he was hit in the legs by shrapnel. En route to hospital, his ambulance came under fire from a German tank, which then miraculously ceased fire. Evacuated from Dunkirk on HMS Grenade, two of the sister ships with them were sunk. Recovered, he was sent to allied campaigns in North Africa and Italy. En route his ship was chased by the German battleship Bismarck. In North Africa he served under General Montgomery against the Desert Fox, Rommel. Sent into the Italian campaign, he met his future wife, a lieutenant and physiotherapist in a Canadian hospital. They were married in the morning by the mayor of the Italian town, and again in the afternoon by a British padre. After the war they settled in Chatham where he went into politics and became the warden (chairman) of the county and on his retirement he and his wife moved to Ottawa. At the age of 80 he wrote a book about his experiences. One day out of the blue he received a call from a government official asking him to go downtown for a photo op. He wasn't told what the photo was for or why they chose him. 'He had no idea he would be on the bill,' his daughter said. And now you know the story of the old veteran on the $10 bill.
    Jan 30, 2014 5:19 pm | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings
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    Looking forward to speaking with Lorne Brooker at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow on CJBQ/mix97 re Senate reform - Justin's Liberal initiative.
    Jan 29, 2014 6:36 pm | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings
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    Mario and others - thank you for your recent encouragement and support! I have been diverted by a death in my family, but am getting back on track and looking to the future with anticipation!
    Jan 22, 2014 11:37 am | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings

December

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    Further to Vienna mentions below, a piece re a subject that I believe is very important - Women's Issues are Societal Issues - thanks to the PEHFLA for asking and publishing! https://peh.liberal.ca/opinion/womens-issues-societal-issues-important/
    Dec 22, 2013 5:24 pm | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings
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    A Christmas Story - topical, but sad! T'WAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS, HE LIVED ALL ALONE, IN A ONE BEDROOM HOUSE, MADE OF PLASTER AND STONE. ... I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY, WITH PRESENTS TO GIVE, AND TO SEE JUST WHO, IN THIS HOME, DID LIVE. I LOOKED ALL ABOUT, A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE, NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS, NOT EVEN A TREE. NO STOCKING BY MANTLE, JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND, ON THE WALL HUNG PICTURES, OF FAR DISTANT LANDS. WITH MEDALS AND BADGES, AWARDS OF ALL KINDS, A SOBER THOUGHT, CAME THROUGH MY MIND. FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT, IT WAS DARK AND DREARY, I FOUND THE HOME OF A SOLDIER, ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY. THE SOLDIER LAY SLEEPING, SILENT, ALONE, CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR, IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME. THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE, THE ROOM IN DISORDER, NOT HOW I PICTURED, A TRUE CANADIAN SOLDIER. WAS THIS THE HERO, OF WHOM I'D JUST READ? CURLED UP ON A PONCHO, THE FLOOR FOR A BED? I REALIZED THE FAMILIES, THAT I SAW THIS NIGHT, OWED THEIR LIVES TO THESE SOLDIERS, WHO WERE WILLING TO FIGHT. SOON ROUND THE WORLD, THE CHILDREN WOULD PLAY, AND GROWNUPS WOULD CELEBRATE, A BRIGHT CHRISTMAS DAY. THEY ALL ENJOYED FREEDOM, EACH MONTH OF THE YEAR, BECAUSE OF THE SOLDIERS, LIKE THE ONE LYING HERE. I COULDN'T HELP WONDER, HOW MANY LAY ALONE, ON A COLD CHRISTMAS EVE, IN A LAND FAR FROM HOME. THE VERY THOUGHT BROUGHT, A TEAR TO MY EYE, I DROPPED TO MY KNEES, AND STARTED TO CRY. THE SOLDIER AWAKENED, AND I HEARD A ROUGH VOICE, "SANTA DON'T CRY, THIS LIFE IS MY CHOICE; I FIGHT FOR FREEDOM, I DON'T ASK FOR MORE, MY LIFE IS MY GOD, MY COUNTRY, MY CORPS.." THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER, AND DRIFTED TO SLEEP, I COULDN'T CONTROL IT, I CONTINUED TO WEEP. I KEPT WATCH FOR HOURS, SO SILENT AND STILL, AND WE BOTH SHIVERED, FROM THE COLD NIGHT'S CHILL. I DID NOT WANT TO LEAVE, ON THAT COLD, DARK, NIGHT, THIS GUARDIAN OF HONOUR, SO WILLING TO FIGHT. THEN THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER, WITH A VOICE SOFT AND PURE, WHISPERED, "CARRY ON SANTA, IT'S CHRISTMAS DAY, ALL IS SECURE." ONE LOOK AT MY WATCH, AND I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT. "MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND, AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT." The poem above was sent to me as written by a Canadian Forces member stationed overseas; you may have also received it. If not, it was accompanied by the following request. PLEASE. Would you do me the kind favour of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to all of the service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities. Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us. Please, do your small part to plant this small seed. I do not mean to dampen the spirit of the Holiday Season for you, but, particularly given recent news and events this did resonate with me, in a chilling way. If you, some of whom have served in such places as Somalia, Kosovo, Bosnia, Afghanistan and Congo, or Cyprus and the Golan Heights and other places before, share that thought, please pass it on as requested. Maybe one of you has PM Stephan Harper’s address and can send it there with the additional request of “stop using the Canadian Forces for political/doctrinal purposes and then failing the veterans thereof so badly”!! Merry Christmas to all, including those personally affected by this plea. Peter
    Dec 13, 2013 12:23 pm | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings

November

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    Back to home life. The Holiday Train was in Belleville today. A great community event to start the Season and an even greater event/boost for the Gleaners Food Bank. The Liberal team was out, as always, supporting Gleaners and serving hot chocolate to the crowd!
    Nov 28, 2013 5:32 pm | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings
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    And, a last!
    Nov 28, 2013 5:20 pm | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings
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    Another photo of the Hofburg Palace - modern inside!
    Nov 28, 2013 5:19 pm | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings
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    Seemed like a bit of an anachronism to be in the historic and centuries old Hofburg Palace speaking with a PP presentation about 21st century issues, in this case gender equality and security services. With attendees from countries such as Serbia and Georgia, and representation from those working in Central Asia, it quickly became apparent that the world is not all in the same place! I am pleased and proud to say that Canada still has a voice that is listened to. But that could change - had many questions as to what is "going on in Canada" and its international relationships. We must work on that to change - I know that I will! I don't seem to be able to create a "photo album" of this, so will post one photo here and follow with others. Please forgive my being technology challenged:-)!
    Nov 28, 2013 5:16 pm | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings
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    Facebook "locked me out" for security reasons as I was signing in from a "strange location" while in Vienna! Good security, but frustrating! Wonderful place and great conference. More to follow.
    Nov 27, 2013 6:07 pm | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings
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    lib
    Very pleased to be able to accept an invitation to speak at an DCAF/OSCE workshop next week in Vienna next week - "Integrating Gender into Oversight: Experiences from the OSCE region and beyond". Have been working on this with DCAF for some time. An important subject - women's issues are societal issues, and Vienna is a great place to visit anytime!
    Nov 12, 2013 8:27 am | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings

September

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    lib
    Terrific evening last night listening to esteemed political journalist Richard Gwyn and meeting with local Libs!
    Sep 19, 2013 6:24 pm | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings
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    lib
    Great fund raiser/BBQ for our Lib Prov Candidate Georgina Thompson last night - this lady has it all!
    Sep 15, 2013 6:34 pm | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings

August

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    lib
    Another great day connecting with people of all ages at "Belleville Pride 2013". Much appreciation expressed that the Liberal Party was there - advancing respect and acceptance. Many thoughtful questions, including from voters just coming of age, "How do I get to vote?". We will address that!
    Aug 24, 2013 3:25 pm | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings
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    lib
    The Hastings County Plowing Match provided a great venue for dedicated members of the PEHFLA, joined by members of the NQWFLA, to meet constituents from across the region. I was very heartened by the number of people who wanted to engage, express their concerns and take away a Liberal button!
    Aug 23, 2013 6:44 am | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings

May

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    lib
    Had the opportunity to appear before the Senate's Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee yesterday and speak against government Bill C-15 - an Act purported to strengthen the military justice system. On one key point regarding the independence of the police I believe it does quite the contrary. It was great to have the opportunity to be heard, but I don't think that any of the CPC Senators were really listening and, even if so, that they will be allowed to vote their conscience. Nonetheless, felt obliged to speak for the record and did! For the record see (at about 1:34 point) - http://senparlvu.parl.gc.ca/Guide.aspx?viewmode=4&categoryid=-1¤tdate=2013-05-29&languagecode=12298&eventid=8920
    May 30, 2013 1:47 pm | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings

April

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    lib
    Back home and a great evening last night speaking with Kim Rudd in Brighton at a NQW annual spring dinner about riding realignment - welcome QW - and "patio planting" - thankfully a relief from politics!!
    Apr 27, 2013 5:22 pm | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings
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    lib
    Despite all their woes, humour is alive in Africa. Was sent this today and thought that I should share:-)
    Apr 11, 2013 1:28 pm | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings
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    lib
    Further to last re work in Uganda and more seriously, it is a privilege for my colleagues and I to have the opportunity to engage with very dedicated and progressive people trying to advance their nation's justice sector. Photo of meeting with the High Court Registrar and her staff. Only time will tell!
    Apr 10, 2013 7:55 am | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings
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    lib
    LPC Leadership Vote. Am in Kampala at the moment working with Ugandan authorities on a justice sector project - beautiful place and very interesting work. Despite shaky internet was able to vote last night 1st try. The system works - congrats to LPC staff!Hope that all who are able also vote in this important election! By the way, can anyone identify the biggest (4-5 ft wingspan) bird that visits my balcony to stare threateningly through the window:-)?
    Apr 09, 2013 1:10 pm | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings
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    lib
    A very worthy cause - David versus Goliath trying to protect our environment! Some very dedicated people involved who need help! Have a look and please help if you can.
    Apr 02, 2013 12:10 pm | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings

March

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    lib
    Over a hundred attended our 2nd annual Heritage Dinner last night to hear MP Wayne Easter and leadership candidate Karen McCrimmon speak! Another great evening! Congrats to the organizers and those still doing dishes at 10:00 p.m.!
    Mar 08, 2013 5:44 am | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings
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    lib
    Mar 01, 2013 3:48 pm | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings
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    lib
    A new way for facebook users to sign up as a Liberal support and to invite their facebook friends to do the same! Time is short!!
    Mar 01, 2013 9:54 am | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings

February

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    lib
    Last November I posted regarding the submission of the PEHFLA to the Ontario Commission for ED redistribution. Well they were listening! See the revised report of the Commission. Unfortunately PEH is still split into 2, but at least not 3 and the 2 have a far greater community of interest than the 3. It still needs to go through a Parliamentary Committee so actual change is still a way off.
    Feb 26, 2013 1:22 pm | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings
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    lib
    More thoughtful and disturbing commentary from Stirling's Alan Coxwell - this time about PMSH and the future, or lack thereof, of the CBC!
    Feb 22, 2013 7:21 am | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings
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    lib
    More thoughtful and disturbing commentary from Stirling's Alan Coxwell - this time about PMSH and the future, or lack thereof, of the CBC!
    Feb 22, 2013 7:19 am | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings
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    lib
    Was very pleased to be able to make it to the leadership debate in Mississauga today. Tweeter feeds and media clips do not do this important sort of thing justice. Hope that all watched the complete event where they could and draw their own conclusions- politics are shallow enough as it is!!
    Feb 16, 2013 6:31 pm | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings
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    lib
    "Death of a country by a tousand cuts" - a thought provoking & disturbing editorial by local resident and former journalist Alan Coxwell!
    Feb 03, 2013 12:27 pm | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings
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    lib
    "Death of a country by a thousand cuts" - a thought provoking & disturbing editorial by local resident and former journalist Alan Coxwell!
    Feb 03, 2013 12:24 pm | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings

January

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    lib
    Interesting to hear from Provincial Leadership Candidates today in Belleville. Delegate selection this weekend! (Photo - Dr. Eric Hoskins)
    Jan 10, 2013 1:26 pm | Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward—Hastings

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Peter Tinsley

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