Lawlessness cannot be tolerated

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Last time I looked, I was pretty sure we were living in the 21st Century and that we lived by a set of laws, but with each passing day where law enforcement officers fail to uphold the law, I am beginning to wonder.

I refer, of course, to the continuing illegal blockades erected in support of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs.

The actions and demands of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs has attracted a great of deal of media attention and garnered support for the chiefs around the world.

At issue is the work of Coastal GasLink, a subsidiary of TransCanada Corp., which is building a natural gas pipeline between Dawson Creek and Kitimat, where there is a major facility to liquefy and ship product to Asia.

Now, the project has the blessing of Ottawa, the B.C. government, as well 20 First Nation communities along the route, including elected chiefs and band councils representing the Wet’suwet’en peoples.

A lot of people have no idea that elected Wet’suwet’en chiefs and council members support this pipeline. Most of the news articles rarely make mention of that “little” detail. Nope. What the news stories go on and on about is the fact that the hereditary chiefs are opposed to the pipeline.

As a consequence, you get folks across the country erecting barricades on train tracks or streets in support of the chiefs, with protesters making claims that the First Nation rights are being abrogated by modern day colonialists.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The hereditary chiefs have no standing today. First Nation people elect their representatives and are in charge of their own lives.

The Wet’suwet’en people have voiced their support for the pipeline and stand to benefit from the revenue and jobs it creates.

Furthermore, that is what the courts have ruled and have granted Coastal Links an injunction to that effect.

Unfortunately, the RCMP appear to be incapable of enforcing the law and while they have made a few arrests, the blockade of the road remains intact.

Worse, police have done nothing to stop the erection of sympathetic blockades elsewhere in the country. Just recently protesters blocked train traffic in Ontario and vehicle traffic has been blocked in a number of other cities.

The law, a result, is being called into disrepute. It is one thing to protest. That is everyone’s right. But it is quite another thing to flagrantly break the law with impunity. Lawlessness can never be tolerated in a free and democratic country.

Failure to approve Teck Frontier will see Alberta seeking independence

teckWith the deadline for the Trudeau government on whether to approve the Teck Frontier oilsands venture coming at the end of the month, news reports that the $20 billion project may not get the green light ought to worry right thinking Canadians.

The project, which has the support of all First Nations affected as well as the Alberta government, would create 7,000 jobs initially and some 2,000 permanent jobs thereafter.

For a province that has been wracked by unemployment and finds itself in the beginnings of a recession, the project would be a much needed boost to Albertans’ confidence. It would also reassure investors that the country is not adverse to resource development.

However, a report carried by Reuters suggests that the Liberal Party is preparing an aid package in the event the project is not green lighted.

According to the Reuters report, citing anonymous sources, the Trudeau government is considering an aid package which would include a cash injection to help clean up thousands of inactive oil and gas wells abandoned by bankrupt companies, as well as changes to how tax revenues are shared across the country.

That the Trudeau government is even hesitating to approve the project is astounding. Teck Frontier has undergone a 10 year approval process and has succeeded in meeting stringent regulatory conditions. There is no good reason to cancel the project.

Still, some Ontario and Quebec Liberals are calling for its cancellations on the grounds that its emissions do not fit with the government’s climate change plans and need to meet the Paris Climate Accord’s 2030 targets.

So once again it would appear that the province’s economic future is being sacrificed on the altar of virtue signaling.

The fact of the matter is that Canada’s CO2 emissions are irrelevant. The country produces a mere 1.6 per cent of global emissions. China and India are by far the largest producers. In fact, by 2050 China will be producing fully half of all CO2 emissions.

Demanding that Canada gut a province’s economy while accomplishing nothing is the height of madness.

It is little wonder, then, that the demands of independence could be heard loud and clear in the wake of the Reuters article.

There is a growing sentiment in the province that Alberta will never get a fair deal in Canada and that the only recourse left is outright separation.

With hard core support for independence at about 25 per cent, a rejection of Teck Frontier could easily reach 60 per cent in a matter of weeks.

As Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said while in Ottawa for meetings, Ottawa-appointed officials are unlikely to grasp the depth of sentiments felt in Western provinces against the federation.

“As much time as people like the deputy prime minister and Jim Carr have been spending in Alberta and Saskatchewan — and we really appreciate it — they don’t live there. They don’t see it and hear it every day.

“I don’t think people outside Alberta appreciate really how delicate and how dangerous the political discourse and rhetoric is.”

Indeed. Many Albertans will argue the time to leave is now.

Lewis is just what we need to beat Trudeau

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Dr. Leslyn Lewis

If Conservatives have any hope of defeating Justin Trudeau’s Liberals in the next general election, they’re going to need a leader that the Liberals and their media allies cannot easily attack.

The CPC has tried to play its own game. Election campaigns were to be fought on the basis of policies advocated.

Liberals and their media toadies had other things in mind. In short order Conservatives were fighting off charges they were homophobes, racists and misogynists.

As much as we might object, the fact of the matter is that it’s their court and their game.

In other words, we have to play their game if we are to beat them at their game.

All of which brings me to the upcoming Conservative leadership race.

Already you can see the media at work talking up Peter MacKay’s candidacy.

The media may been extolling the virtues of MacKay but I sincerely doubt he has what it takes to defeat Trudeau.

Erin O’Toole is currently the only other candidate to meet the stringent requirements to make the run for party leader.

O’Toole hails from Montreal and has espoused traditional conservative values close to all our hearts. But does he have what it takes? We’ll see.

There is one candidate that has caught my eye and holds a lot of promise – Dr. Leslyn Lewis.

I started following her on Twitter when she announced she would be making a bid for the leadership. She’s saying all the right things.

Lewis-energy

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Lewis is pro-energy development, but she’s also an environmentalist. She’s a social conservative, who values family and small government, but she’s no ideologue. She’s incredibly well-educated, the daughter of dirt poor immigrants who succeeded in Canada.

So here we have a woman of color who is an immigrant and believes in everything conservatives hold dear. Read more about her here. See an interview here.

Lewis, in other words, is invulnerable. She is a conservative Superwoman immune to Liberal Kryptonite.

How would the media attack her for being a racist, a misogynist or a homophobe?

I really think conservatives need to think strategically here and get behind her candidacy. Let’s play their game and beat them into the ground.

If only Canada were led by conservatives

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President Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address.

There is probably not a single conservative in Canada, who while watching US President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Speech, did not wish we could brag about our successes.

The American economy is firing on all eight cylinders. More and more people are working. Wages are increasing. Stock prices are rising. Confidence in the economy is at an all time high.

Here in Canada it’s a different story.

Restrictive regulation, absurd climate policies, over taxation have sapped the strength of the country.

Here in Calgary, the mood is sombre. The downtown core has been gutted as businesses close up shop. Small businesses contend with huge tax increases to make up for the loss of tax revenues.

At the Petroleum Club, the talk is all about the missed opportunities, about the $80 billion that was waiting in the wings once Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was removed from office.

That never came to pass, however. Trudeau was returned to office with a minority government and is now supported by the socialist New Democrats and the separatist Bloc Quebecois.

The Conservative Party of Canada may have polled more support across the country, but because of the peculiarities of how the country is divided into ridings, it did not secure the most seats.

Where the Conservatives did well was in the West, shutting out every other party.

No surprise there. The West has borne the brunt of the Trudeau government anti-fossil fuel policies that undermined the industry.

So when we listened to President Trump brag about the United States becoming an exporter of oil and natural gas, we could only wish our country could have grown so vigorously.

Therein lies the tragedy. Canada has immense potential. Our oil, coal and natural gas resources are immense. We should be thriving in a world hungry for energy.

We are not because we have politicians in power who are ignorant, venal and panderers.

Will drivers scrap their ICE cars?

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Honda’s newest electric vehicle.

Government bureaucrats are, on the whole and with a few exceptions, notoriously stupid. Bureaucrats in liberal/socialist countries are just plain stupid, one and all.

Take the announcements of late that the sale of internal combustion vehicles will be banned by as early as 2040.

Countries such as Great Britain and Norway have concluded that banning the sale of ICE cars will help reduce CO2 emissions and save the world from a 2 C rise in temperatures by 2100.

This is your typical bureaucratic approach. Let’s ban something.

Now, let’s show the dummies why this ban will have a negligible effect. It all has to do with scrappage.

Scrappage is the term the automotive industry uses to describe when consumers have given up on maintaining their vehicles and turn their rides into, well, scrap.

ICE vehicles are actually long lasting and have been getting more so in the past few decades.

In the 1970s. The scrappage rate in the United States was about 8 per cent. Today it is 4 per cent and declining. Globally, it is 3 per cent and declining as well.

What does that mean?

Well, for one thing it means that the cars that are built today will still be running 20 years down the road as it were.

Think about it. Globally, 70 million cars are produced and sold every year and that production is increasing by 5 per cent every year since 2010.

In other words, there will be billions of cars still on the road in 2050.

Of course, in 2040 drivers won’t have the option of buying ICE vehicles. But given the fact that the vast majority of drivers do not buy electric vehicles now, the chances are that EV sales will not jump that much.

In fact, I would suspect that prices of used ICE cars will jump as drivers sought to prolong the benefits of driving a useful vehicle.

And if used ICE car prices jump, the scrappage rate will decline to close to zero.

Governments, of course, could keep jacking up carbon taxes until gasoline and diesel prices made it absolutely prohibitive.

I guarantee you though that there is a very real limit as to how much taxpayers are willing to pay to “save” the planet. Any political party that pushed too hard is not long for this world.

What was Guilbeault thinking?

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Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault

There are a lot of lessons to be learned from Liberal Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault’s musing on the need to license news media outlets in Canada.

Guilbeault stirred the Internet last Monday when he appeared on a CTV news program and said the government was thinking about licensing news media following a report from an expert panel struck in 2018.

“If you’re a distributor of content in Canada and obviously if you’re a very small media organization the requirement probably wouldn’t be the same if you’re Facebook, or Google. There would have to be some proportionality embedded into this,” the neophyte minister told the show’s host.

When pressed by the host, the minister said: “We would ask that they have a license, yes.”

Oh my, if there ever was a statement to cause a stir, this was it. License news outlets?

Dear God, man, what were you thinking?

Twitter and Facebook saw dozens and dozens of posts condemning the minister and his, frankly, ill-liberal proposition.

Most commentators noted that the proposition ran counter to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and was a fascist’s wet dream.

Freedom of the press, after all, is the very foundation of democracy. Voters need access to information with which to make judgments about politicians.

The outrage was enough to see Guilbeault pedaling back the comments yesterday, stating that the government had “no intention to impose licensing requirements on news organizations,” nor will the government “regulate news content.”

Phew?

Not really. The Trudeau government has every intention of regulating the big platforms. It has it sights set on Facebook, Google, Netflix, Amazon, Twitter. Make no mistake about that.

After all, that was the motivation behind the government commissioning the report in the first place.

Last month, the expert panel issued its recommendations which basically argued that the Canadian identity was on its deathbed if Ottawa did not act quickly to regulate the Internet.

There is loads of irony in all of this.

For one thing, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is on the record as proclaiming Canada as the world’s first post national state. So what’s to protect?

It could be argued that any country with a loose immigration policy such as Canada’s, where 40 per cent of the population will be foreign born in a decade, is working overtime to dilute its identity.

As for the news media, the report noted that declining advertising and subscription revenues, coupled with mergers, is reducing the amount of Canadian news available to consumers.

Again, there is a rich vein of irony here. The state broadcaster, the CBC, spends an inordinate amount of time covering American news and it is already subsidized by the taxpayer.

The reality is that the Internet has revolutionized how people get their news and entertainment. Convenience and immediacy are what’s driving the move to the web. That’s why Google and Facebook have garnered so much advertising revenue. This is a world-wide phenomenon.

Of course, all of this unnerves the bureaucrats. The Internet is not easy to control.

And do we really want to control it?

Think about it. It was commentators on Twitter and Facebook that shamed the minister (his handlers, actually) into backtracking.

That’s democracy in action and it wasn’t possible before the Internet provided citizens with voices.

There’s no question that not all voices are welcome, but most right thinking people would rather put up with the idiocy of a few than live with the tyranny of government.

Chicago Convention comes into play with Iran’s admission plane was shot down

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Protesters took to the streets in Tehran in the wake of government admission Ukrainian plane had been shot down by surface to air missiles.

Iran has finally admitted that the Ukrainian plane carrying 57 Canadians was shot down by surface to air missiles.

It took officials two days to admit what most people surmised from the beginning.

Yet in admitting that the plane was “unintentionally” shot down, Iranian officials could not quite bring themselves to admit that the blame rests squarely on their shoulders, with one actually laying the blame on Washington and then going on to claim the aircraft wasn’t identifying itself properly.

That ought to tell any right minded person, Iran is not to be trusted. Its officials are liars. They will continue lying in this case because an admission of culpability puts the country on the hook for billions in damages.

In this respect it is worth noting that Iran, the Ukraine and Canada among others are all signatories to the so-called Chicago convention which grew out of previous attacks on commercial aircraft during times of conflict.

Convention signatories all agreed that states are responsible and liable with respect to the safety of commercial airplanes.

There is a large loophole in the convention, however, and this is where the Iranian officialdom’s propensity to lie comes into play and why a truly independent and impartial investigation is needed.

The convention recognizes that the governing articles do not impinge on a country’s right to self defense.

In other words, if the Ukrainian plane can be shown to have some mechanical problem that stopped it from displaying itself as a commercial airliner, then Iran may escape culpability.

It’s a stretch. After all, the plane was new and had just undergone an inspection. But unfettered access to the black boxes is by no means guaranteed, so it remains to be seen what the investigation as it is currently structured will produce.

So Canada needs to begin preparing for the possibility that the investigation will be inconclusive and, as such, leave it without a clear path to winning compensation for the victims of Iranian incompetence.

Some analysts believe that Iran will do the right thing given its fear of further isolating itself from the Western world.

I somehow doubt that. Iran’s downing of the Ukrainian plane has ignited protests in the country. Further admissions of guilt will only fuel those protests.

As the lies which followed news of the crash show, the Islamofascists will do everything in their power to retain that power.

Iran and Iran alone is to blame for deaths of passengers aboard Ukrainian plane

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Qasem Soleimani

Watching critics of President Donald Trump try to lay the blame for the death of passengers of the ill-fated Ukrainian plane at his feet, it was clear they were playing the what if game.

If only Trump had not ordered the attack on Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, they argue, all those innocent lives would not have been lost.

It’s a tempting argument and one that is easily played, as we have all seen in the past few days.

The trouble is that two can play.

What if Soleimani had been killed years ago, how many lives would have been saved?

In 2013, the New Yorker carried a profile of Soleimani, who was relatively unknown:

Suleimani (sic) took command of the Quds Force fifteen years ago, and in that time he has sought to reshape the Middle East in Iran’s favor, working as a power broker and as a military force: assassinating rivals, arming allies, and, for most of a decade, directing a network of militant groups that killed hundreds of Americans in Iraq. The U.S. Department of the Treasury has sanctioned Suleimani for his role in supporting the Assad regime, and for abetting terrorism. And yet he has remained mostly invisible to the outside world, even as he runs agents and directs operations. “Suleimani (sic) is the single most powerful operative in the Middle East today,” John Maguire, a former C.I.A. officer in Iraq, told me, “and no one’s ever heard of him.”

You can read the full article here.

Thousands of people died as a consequence of Soleimani’s actions.

Are those lives worth anything?

Under President Barack Obama, Washington tried to normalize relations with Iran, going as far as to lift travel restrictions on Soleimani and negotiate a nuclear arms deal with Iran. The hope was that the combination of money and diplomacy would make Iran less of a rogue nation.

The Middle East, however, has been the graveyard of many a hopeful politician and Iran, led by Soleimani, remained a destabilizing force.

In the months leading up to his assassination, Soleimani led a regional campaign that included piracy of foreign ships in the Strait of Hormuz, attacks on international oil tankers, an attack on a US drone as well as an attack on a petroleum processing facility in Saudi Arabia.

All of those provocations went unanswered until Soleimani was in Iraq and US forces had an opportunity to kill him.

Now, the Iranian government no doubt never thought Washington would assassinate one of its highest military leaders and Soleimani’s killing was a shock, prompting a retaliatory barrage of missiles directed at American and allied bases in Iraq.

All of which brings us to the day passengers aboard a Ukrainian plane met their ill-deserved fate.

When news of the “crash” broke, the speculation was that the plane had been shot down, but Iran was given the benefit of the doubt and newscasters accepted the Iranian explanation – mechanical failure.

Within hours, however, it became clear the plane had been shot down. A video of two missiles being fired from batteries near the airport clearly show them hitting the plane and then the fiery descent of the plane itself.

Then, too, there are the intelligence reports concluding that it was highly likely the plane was taken down by missiles.

In fact, the only thing missing is an inspection of the fuselage. That would provide absolute certainty.

No matter, the fact remains that Iranian officials permitted commercial aircraft to fly during the midst of hostilities which was the height of negligence.

Worse, the Iranian military fired upon the airplane for whatever reason.

That is the reason 177 people (63 Canadians) are dead.

Iranian officials had a duty to protect non-combatants. They shirked that duty and people died. It’s as simple as that.