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October

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    MPlib
    Tis the season for craft sales - this one on a great fall weekend at St Martin's RC Parish in Regina's Whitmore Pk
    Oct 18, 2014 9:59 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    Regina Farmers Market carries on through the fall at the Wa-Wa Shrine building on Hamilton Street, both inside and out.
    Oct 18, 2014 9:09 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    Last night at the University of Regina Education Auditorium there was a full house to hear the remarkable Joseph Boyden, a great author with a powerful message.
    Oct 17, 2014 5:53 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    CBC-Regina celebrates the richness of Canada's multiculturalism - great evening following Citizenship Ceremony this afternoon
    Oct 16, 2014 8:55 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    Citizenship Judge O'Malley, CBC's Sheila Coles + 60 new Canadian citizens about to be sworn in at CBC Regina. Congratulations!
    Oct 16, 2014 12:52 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    TV personality JC Garden opening Regina Humane Society Gala - celebrating "50 Years of Lifesaving"!
    Oct 15, 2014 10:44 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    Great visit at Luther College High School, Regina - 100th anniversary, new facilities, presented big Cdn Flag from Peace Tower
    Oct 15, 2014 10:08 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    Congratulations to CTV's Craig Oliver - joining the Canadian news Hall of Fame!
    Oct 14, 2014 9:33 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    Big thanks to Dr Roberta McKay + Elmer Brenner for their annual sponsorship of the Mayor's Arts + Business Awards in Regina
    Oct 14, 2014 12:35 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    Distinguished Sask artist Wilf Perreault honoured for lifetime achievement at Mayor's Arts+Business Awards 2014
    Oct 14, 2014 12:22 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    Regina's talented Belle Plaine performing at the 10th annual Mayor's Arts+Business Awards in Regina
    Oct 14, 2014 11:32 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    Happy to attend Regina Mayor Fougere's "Arts+Business" awards - this piece by David Thauberger one of many on display.
    Oct 14, 2014 11:04 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    ABOUT THAT "CATASTROPHE" IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS... Media reports last week revealed serious structural defects in the ornate stonework and stained glass windows that crown the House of Commons chamber like a cathedral dome. There was a real possibility of falling bricks and debris. One headline proclaimed that Parliament was at risk of "catastrophic damage". Repair crews were called in immediately. Yes, this historic chamber of Canadian democracy must be kept in sound physical condition. But the real catastrophe for Parliament is more likely in the behaviour of the Harper government than in the building they occupy. Another example of political degradation emerged just a few days ago when a leaked document exposed Mr. Harper's plan to amend the Copyright Act to allow political parties to swipe video clips out of television news programs - without permission and without remuneration - to be used in partisan attack advertising. We all have complaints from time to time about how we get treated in particular news stories, but by and large legitimate journalists work hard to make their newscasts professional and accurate. They try to present relevant, useful information in context and in a complete, fair and balanced way. None of these virtues apply to the vicious Conservative attack ads that have so soiled Canadian politics in recent years. Mr. Harper's new rules would legalize what amounts to expropriation without compensation. The purloined material could be edited, twisted and distorted out of all proportion, without any possibility of complaint or remedy, and the broadcaster from whom it was stolen would be forced to run the dishonest advertising made from it. This is a direct assault on the integrity of journalists and freedom of the press. It blurs the line between "news" and propaganda. In the eyes of most Canadians, there is an important difference. When asked whom they trust most in public life, Canadians typically identify people like veteran television news anchor Lloyd Robertson. When asked whom they trust least, a large percentage say Stephen Harper. Mr. Harper's problem is hyper-partisanship. To him, political advantage supersedes every other principle by which public life might be conducted. That was the instinct behind his recent amendments to the Canada Elections Act which he forced through Parliament, making it harder for certain groups of Canadians to vote and easier for electoral fraud to go undetected. It was partisan advantage that drove the Conservative "In-and-Out" election financing scam. It took four years of investigating by Elections Canada and a police raid on Conservative Party headquarters, but in the end charges were laid, the Conservative Party had to plead guilty, was convicted, and the Court imposed the biggest possible penalty the law allows. It was the same corrosive mentality that led to the deceitful robo-call fiasco in Guelph where a Conservative operative was convicted of electoral fraud. The Federal Court of Canada has, in fact, expressly found that voter suppression and electoral fraud occurred in a number of ridings in the last federal election and, according to the Court, the most likely source of the information used to commit that fraud was the Conservative Party's database. And that's not all. Blatant violations of election rules forced Mr. Harper's hand-picked Minister from Labrador to resign. On another front, his former Parliamentary Secretary is now on trial in Peterborough on other election financing charges. Then there was Mr. Harper's attempt to use robo-calls to twist the work of an independent Electoral Boundaries Commission in Saskatchewan. And don't forget the Mike Duffy/PMO ethics scandal about a secret $90,000 cheque and interference in a Senate audit. That trial starts next spring. These are the kinds of truly debilitating things that make for real catastrophes in Parliament.
    Oct 14, 2014 4:57 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    In Question Period: Twice today Harper government refused to say whether rail cars that burned in Clair, Sk train wreck were the worst DOT-111s. Worst DOT-111 cars were supposed to be eliminated last May. Why can't government confirm whether they were in the Clair wreck? Railway says Clair-wreck cars were supplied by shippers, not the railway. So it that an acceptable excuse? Do rules not apply to all?
    Oct 10, 2014 8:47 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    PARLIAMENT SHOULD PASS SENATE BILL ON BUS DRIVER SAFETY With the support of transit employees, their unions, municipalities and other transit operators, police officers, the Canadian Urban Transit Association and others, I have spent the past year promoting legislation to better protect bus drivers and other transportation workers. These people provide vital services to the general public in all sorts of locations in all weather conditions and at all hours of the day and night. They are often on duty alone, operating powerful vehicles on public streets and thoroughfares. By the nature of their employment, they assume serious responsibilities for public service and safety, and put themselves in a vulnerable position. Statistics show that a wide array of offences are committed against bus drivers and similar employees some 2,000 times every year. Surely this is unacceptable. That’s why I proposed Private Member’s Bill C-533 which would require all judges, when sentencing anyone convicted of any criminal offence against a “public transportation employee”, to take into account as an “aggravating factor” the vulnerable nature of the victim’s employment. The same factor would also apply to anyone coming to the aid of such an employee. Bill C-533 has earned broad public support, but remains on the Order Paper of the House of Commons. Such Private Member’s Business is selected for debate and a vote by the luck of a draw. Other MP’s from all other Parties have also advanced similar proposals from time to time. This is not a partisan issue that divides along political lines. A few months ago, a Conservative Senator (Bob Runciman) brought forward his own proposed “bus driver” legislation (Bill S-221). It differs in detail, but is similar to mine in principle. The procedure applying to Senate Bills has allowed S-221 to move more quickly. It has passed the Senate and is coming before the House of Commons today. I encourage all MP’s to support it. S-221 is not as broad as my proposal. It applies only to certain specific offences in the Criminal Code, not every offence. And it doesn’t make any reference to persons coming to the aid of a bus driver under attack. On the positive side, it does include a useful definition of “transportation employee” that covers certain others like taxi drivers too. I have said from the outset that I do not consider this to be a matter of partisan politics. I just want to see useful legislation enacted as quickly as possible. Once it becomes the law, transit operators need to launch prominent communications campaigns informing the public that offences against people like bus drivers are serious criminal matters carrying serious penalties. And offenders will be prosecuted. Work also needs to continue on such things as better structural designs for transit vehicles and the installation of video monitors to augment safety conditions. I hope S-221 will be successful. I am happy to have played a role in bringing this issue of bus driver safety to broad public attention and developing momentum in Parliament to strengthen the law.
    Oct 10, 2014 5:34 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    When challenged in Question Period on their scheme to swipe TV news broadcasts to use in attack ads, HarperCons do not deny it. The Conservatives will authorize political parties to use TV news content for partisan attack purposes w/o permission or remuneration. They will force TV broadcasters to run partisan attack ads that distort the broadcasters' own news programming.
    Oct 09, 2014 11:55 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    PARLIAMENTARY BUDGET OFFICE TRASHES CONSERVATIVE EI SCHEME The Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) released a report today that makes a sad joke of the way the Harper government is handling Employment Insurance (EI) payroll taxes. In 2011, while Canada was struggling (and we still are) with inadequate job creation following the 2008 recession, the Harper government started to increase its job-killing EI payroll taxes – by more than $600-million cumulatively every year. Last year, they imposed a three-year freeze on the premium rate at the new, higher and obviously excessive level to which it had escalated. At the bottom line, this means the Harper regime has collected well over $5-billion in additional EI revenues since 2011, and if its inflated rate remains frozen in place (as planned) until 2017, it will rake-in further excess revenues of another $5-billion. This is just one of the facts revealed by today’s PBO analysis. If EI premium rates were to match existing program costs, the rate for 2015 would drop across the board by about 7%, and in 2016 by nearly 15%. But that’s not Mr. Harper’s plan. He is maintaining his higher-than-necessary, job-killing EI payroll taxes for at least another two years. And in the meantime, he has devised a deeply-flawed short-term EI tax credit aimed exclusively at small employers who agree to stay small. The way this credit is designed, it is disconnected from new job creation and the employer’s payroll needs to stay below a certain cap (i.e., the equivalent of about 12 -15 employees). Perversely, if a firm wants to grow beyond that – creating more jobs – they will be penalized by losing the credit entirely. Despite new job creation not being a condition for getting this tax credit, the government predicted it would generate some 25,000 jobs coincidentally. The PBO has destroyed that myth. It says the program can be expected to produce a meagre 200 jobs in 2015 and just 600 in 2016 – while costing $550-million over those two years. That’s a huge toll for a negligible gain. Given the foolish way the government credit is set-up, most observers think it is really intended for two other, more political purposes: (a) To serve as a consolation prize for small businesses who are deeply angry at the government for the way it has so mangled the Temporary Foreign Workers Program; and (b) To appear to be doing something for small businesses while still collecting billions of dollars in extra EI revenues to pad its accounts as is declares a surplus next spring. The PBO makes this very powerful point – by keeping EI rates at excessively high levels over the next two years, the Harper government will effectively kill 2,000 jobs in 2015 and a further 8,000 jobs in 2016. So add it all up. Mr. Harper’s ludicrous EI policies will cost taxpayers $550-million in unproductive expenditures, employers and employees will pay some $5-billion in excess taxation, and the country will lose a net 9,200 jobs. And this man claims to be an economist?
    Oct 09, 2014 11:12 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    New report from Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) - demolishes Harper govt's $550-million EI tax credit. It will create a paltry 800 jobs. PBO says keeping EI payroll taxes frozen at artificially high levels will kill 2,000 jobs in 2015 + another 8,000 jobs in 2016. PBO says by keeping EI payroll taxes at current levels until 2017, Harper govt is raking in $5 billion in extra revenue.
    Oct 09, 2014 6:29 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    DID YOU WATCH CTV NATIONAL NEWS WEDNESDAY NIGHT? CTV News has uncovered a Conservative Party scheme to legalize the unauthorized swiping of items from television news broadcasts to be used (without permission) in political party attack advertising. Such unethical activity is explicitly illegal under current Canadian law. It constitutes theft of the intellectual property of news organizations produced for journalistic purposes, not partisan advertising. To eliminate that important distinction would blur the line between "news" and propaganda - undermining the integrity of news programming and editorial decision-making. This appears to be the latest Conservative perversion of democracy, right up there with the "In-and-Out" election financing scam for which the Conservative Party was charged and convicted, the robo-call voter suppression/electoral fraud scheme for which a Conservative operative was charged and convicted in Guelph, the Penashue violations in Labrador, the DelMastro trial in Peterborough, the $90,000 Mike Duffy/Nigel Wright fiasco in the Senate ... and on and on it goes. And here's the kicker - the Conservatives' new rule to condone the misuse of television news materials will be embedded and rammed through Parliament in this fall's Budget Implementation Omnibus Bill. What a disgrace!
    Oct 08, 2014 8:20 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    In the House of Commons Question Period today, here are the questions I asked the Government about the CN train derailment yesterday just north of the Quill Lakes in central Saskatchewan: People in Saskatchewan are cleaning up the mess from yesterday’s train derailment. There were no injuries, thankfully, but it was dangerous: • 26 cars crashed • Dangerous goods spilled • There was a fire and pollution • 50 people were evaculated • The province, municipalities and private individuals all incurred costs. 1. Will all those costs be fully and quickly reimbursed; 2. Were local First Responders informed of the contents of that train BEFORE they had to deal with this emergency? 3. And were these the old DOT-111 cars? ***** We don’t know yet the cause of this Saskatchewan train wreck, but apparently “operator error” is being ruled out. Nevertheless, there is clearly an ongoing argument between Transport Canada and the railways about the issue of operator fatigue. Some reports suggest that as many as three-quarters of freight operators may have fallen asleep at the controls. The issue is acknowledged. It’s been under investigation since 2009. Air crews and truck driver are regulated to avoid fatigue. Will the government implement the necessary safety regulations for train crews before Christmas? http://youtu.be/OoVSJaK2TkA
    Oct 08, 2014 12:00 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    As Justin Trudeau noted in Question Period, some of the humanitarian heavy-lifting against ISIL is grappling with millions of refugees. The way refugees + humanitarian relief are handled will have a huge impact on long-term stability + security in the Middle East.
    Oct 08, 2014 11:37 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    I will pay tribute in the House of Commons today to the late Erik Spicer who served so well as Parliamentary Librarian from 1960 to 1994.
    Oct 08, 2014 11:10 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    Hillary Clinton worries about ideology trumping reason - Washington shouldn't be "an evidence free zone"
    Oct 06, 2014 12:08 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    Hillary Clinton says the situation with ISIS in Iraq/Syria is "a very long game" - ie, it won't be over in six months.
    Oct 06, 2014 11:56 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    Hillary Clinton says, in the fight against the terrorism of ISIS, there are many ways to contribute, not only military. She says the US will welcome+respect whatever level of help against ISIS that Canadians determine is appropriate.
    Oct 06, 2014 11:36 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    Hillary Rodham Clinton takes the stage for a luncheon in Ottawa - hosted by Canada 2020
    Oct 06, 2014 11:17 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    IN SEARCH OF CLARITY, AVOIDING THE QUAGMIRE Midway through his announcement last Friday that he is sending Canadians to war in Iraq, Stephen Harper said he wanted to "be clear on the objectives of this intervention". Moments later, he added that he "is seized with the necessity of avoiding a prolonged quagmire in this part of the world". With those two comments, Mr. Harper touched on two of the biggest weaknesses in his decision. The objectives are not clear. And a quagmire is virtually certain. Make no mistake - there is complete agreement in the Canadian Parliament, and indeed throughout the civilized world, that the so-called "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) is the embodiment of evil. As pointed out by President Obama, it is neither "Islamic", nor is it a "State". ISIS is a vicious terrorist organization that commits vile atrocities against any and all who will not bend to its perverted will - humanitarian workers, journalists and innocent civilians - men, women and children alike. Since the "governments" of Iraq and Syria are largely dysfunctional, ISIS has seized big chunks of both countries and rules, quite literally, by reign of terror. To gall, bait and humiliate the western world, and entrap us in a battle on its terms and turf, ISIS seeks maximum gory publicity for its hideous conduct. It is no wonder that Canadians and all decent human beings are sickened and outraged. We are compelled to do something about this evil. But what is the right and most effective thing to do? Liberals supported the Harper government's initial 30-day, non-combat deployment of up to 69 Canadian Army personnel to advise and assist security forces in Iraq. We asked repeatedly what the government learned from this brief mission, what its precise objectives were and whether they had been achieved? No answers were forthcoming. Indeed, no meaningful information was provided about what might come next until the announcement last Friday of six months of Canadian airstrikes in Iraq (and possibly in Syria too) moving Canada into combat. Mr. Harper said his objective is to degrade the ability of ISIS to operate in any large and open way. No credible expert thinks that is achievable in six months, but more importantly - as many observers have noted - bombing the enemy is only an immediate military tactic, it cannot be your final goal. What do we want to see rise from the ashes? Assuming bombing succeeds as a tactic, then what? There is no evidence that the ultimate objective has been defined. In the famous hockey advice given by Wayne Gretzky, don't skate to where the puck is now, you must anticipate where it is going to be. So to repeat - the objective is not clear and a quagmire looms. But that doesn't mean Canada is or should be a bystander. Again, as President Obama said - there are many different ways, apart from immediate combat, in which Canada can do its part in rooting out the evil that is ISIS. Strategic airlift, is one example. Training is another, plus materials and supplies, signals intelligence, reconnaissance, medical support, critical infrastructure, engineering, and much more. And that's not to mention the massive amounts of humanitarian relief required to ease the suffering of hundreds of thousands of innocent displaced victims across the region. In whatever future lies ahead, their "hearts and minds" will be crucially shaped by who leads the effort to respond to their immediate human needs, and how effective that effort is. (It's a matter of anticipating where the puck is going.) Canada is particularly good at these various alternatives. The government has provided no explanation of how they have weighed the relative value of all our options and capabilities, and why the alternatives have been largely discarded in favour of airstrikes as Canada's primary role. In current circumstances, is this the highest, best and most effective use of Canada's resources?
    Oct 06, 2014 9:06 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    It’s Mental Health Awareness Week. 1 in 5 Canadians face mental illness each year—we must overcome the stigma, this affects all of us.
    Oct 06, 2014 5:10 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    Classical music of India opens the tribute to Ghandi today in Regina, hosted by the India-Canada Association
    Oct 05, 2014 1:24 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    Nearly 2000 Regina folks registered + ready to run in CIBC's Run for the Cure - congrats to Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation
    Oct 05, 2014 8:48 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    Just a small fraction of the CIBC Run for the Cure participants - ready to go in Regina's Wascana Park
    Oct 05, 2014 8:46 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    Chilly day, but big warm crowd gathering in Conexus Arts Centre - ready for this year's CIBC Run for the Cure for breast cancer
    Oct 05, 2014 8:07 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    Proud of Jacqui Anaquod + Tracy Dunnigan - helped organize vigil in Regina on Sat for missing+murdered Aboriginal people
    Oct 05, 2014 6:35 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    Congratulations to Dr Jane Ekong on the founding dinner last night of Amakon, the Women Forum - for women mentoring women
    Oct 05, 2014 6:33 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    On my (unspecified) Birthday today, I'm happy to celebrate Marc Garneau's 30th Anniversary of his first launch into Space!
    Oct 05, 2014 6:01 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    Third sellout tonight at Broadway United Church fowl supper - great meal, wonderful people.
    Oct 05, 2014 12:27 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    So honoured to work with tireless Saskatchewan MS advocate, Michelle Walsh, at national CCSVI conference in Saskatoon
    Oct 04, 2014 2:10 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    The National CCSVI Society has just changed its name to "Canadian Neurovascular Health Society". Congrats.
    Oct 04, 2014 2:10 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    Glad to join with MP Kirsty Duncan (video) + Sen Jane Cordy to open National CCSVI Society conference in Saskatoon
    Oct 04, 2014 2:09 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    Munir Haque, Pres of Islamic Association of Saskatchewan, welcoming guests at Eid al-Adha including Provincial govt, Mayor of Regina + Police Chief
    Oct 04, 2014 9:15 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    Close to 10,000 people are gathered at Evraz Place in Regina today marking Eid Al-Adha. Eid Mubarak!
    Oct 04, 2014 9:14 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    More evidence that Canada needs an agenda for sustained and sustainable GROWTH http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2014/10/04/ralph-goodale-the-myth-of-the-roaring-canadian-economy/
    Oct 04, 2014 6:49 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    I join Leader Justin Trudeau in extending greetings to all my Muslim constituents on Eid al-Adha. http://lpc.ca/9l0h
    Oct 03, 2014 8:19 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    I join with Leader Justin Trudeau in extending greetings to all my Jewish constituents on Yom Kippur http://lpc.ca/9l0b
    Oct 03, 2014 8:17 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    In Question Period, Harper government vacuous + belligerent on plans to go into combat in Iraq - demanding MPs get onboard but won't say why. Canada could do its part against the evil of ISIL in at least a half-dozen ways - but Harper government won't explain its choice of CF-18s. PMs of UK + Australia worked hard + transparently to build + earn consensus in their countries. No such effort by Government of Canada.
    Oct 02, 2014 11:57 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    Well now ... Finance Minister Joe Oliver says government can shrink deficits/debt by growing the economy - so he agrees with Justin Trudeau!
    Oct 01, 2014 6:13 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana

September

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    NEITHER COMPLACENCY NOR BULLHEADEDNESS IS THE RIGHT POLICY: While Canadian Finance Minister Joe Oliver was in New York today telling financial reporters that all is well economically in Canada, the latest report on GDP growth was published - showing NO GROWTH in the Canadian economy in July. The country has stalled again, and Mr Oliver is stuck with the same old ineffectual Harper-government bromides which have produced for Canada the worst record on economic growth since the sorry days of R.B. Bennett in the 1930's. Worse still for Mr. Oliver, even the Canadian Taypayers Federation has now gone public in denouncing the government's flagship promise about "income splitting". Since the last election, Mr. Harper has repeatedly pitched the notion that he needs to balance the books in 2015 for one prime purpose -- so he can introduce income splitting as a tax cut. But like the late Jim Flaherty, the CTF says this ill-advised Harper campaign promise is too expensive and entirely unfair to the vast majority of Canadians. Said the CTF last Friday: "... The problem with this pledge, presumably written on the back of an envelope as the campaign bus pulled out of Ottawa, is that it's been denounced by every credible economic think tank, representing every shade of the political spectrum. Even the federal finance department has weighed in -- that analysis is so damning that nearly everything but the commas was redacted before it was released to the public ..." That having been said, will the government change course or will all the complacency and bullheadedness continue?
    Sep 30, 2014 10:07 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    MR. HARPER DEFLATES EXPECTATIONS OF PROGRESS It's a basic expectation of every new generation of Canadians that if they work hard and make the most of their opportunities, they will achieve a quality of life that surpasses their parents. But for many young Canadians, the inevitability of such progress seems doubtful. Long after the end of the 2008 recession, Canada's unemployment rate for those under the age of 25 stays stuck stubbornly at something over 13%, nearly twice the rate for the economy as a whole. There are 240,000 fewer jobs for young Canadians today than just before the recession. And perhaps even worse, despite a steadily growing population, youth participation in the labour market is down by four full percentage points, reflecting an increasing number who are giving up their search for employment. Job quality has deteriorated. In all of 2013, of the woefully inadequate 99,000 jobs in total generated by the entire Canadian economy, 95% were just part-time - meaning lower wages, fewer benefits and less security. Over the past 12 months (August to August), only 81,000 new jobs in total were produced across Canada, and only 15,000 of them were full-time. International investment banker Morgan Stanley reported last week that Canada is among the three worst countries in the industrialized world for creating low-paying "crappy" jobs. This reinforces a 2013 study by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce that found good-paying, high-end jobs were being generated in Canada at a much slower pace than low-end jobs. Real wage growth is weak. Savings are down. Living costs are up, as inflation begins to tick higher. And more than half of the employees surveyed recently by the Canadian Payroll Association reported that it would be difficult to make ends meet if their paycheques were delayed by more than just one week. Adding to this concern, Canadian households are carrying close to $1.64 in debt for every $1.00 of disposable income, a level of financial vulnerability that global experts have described as "anything but sustainable." And costs keep rising. Some two-thirds of middle-class parents worry they may not be able to afford access to post-secondary education for their children. In more than 40% of "empty-nester" families, the kids have moved back home (or never left) because they cannot yet make a go of things on their own. The housing and other start-up costs now confronting them are far more formidable than their parents had to face. The Conference Board has done a series of analyses of income inequality in Canada. The latest was published about a week ago. They have concluded that we are becoming a more unequal country, with one of the biggest income gaps growing between younger Canadians and their older counterparts. Many youth feel increasingly left behind, even left out altogether. Last week, I asked the Harper government if they thought this was a problem. In their usual cavalier fashion, they just sloughed it off. While Conservatives remain fixated on cutting taxes for the wealthiest 15% in our society - tax cuts that even the late Jim Flaherty depicted as too costly and unfair - young Canadians are being told to curb their hopes and ambitions and settle for mediocrity. That's just not bold enough. Canada can choose to do better.
    Sep 29, 2014 10:17 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    So happy to welcome old friend Sam Gee back to Regina for a visit - lots of folks gathered to greet him at Lee's.
    Sep 28, 2014 5:35 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana
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    An awfully expensive photo op for a deal that is still nearly a decade away from full implementation http://www.cbc.ca/m/touch/politics/story/1.2780754
    Sep 28, 2014 5:34 pm | Saskatchewan, Wascana

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Ralph Goodale

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