Don't enforce the salary cap - be prepared to be sued 
This might have actually set quite the precidence if it went all the way. Instead, it was settled for a million bucks. Quite a sum for the CFL.

The expansion Ottawa Renegades ownership group - or certain members of it - were going to sue the CFL for "alleged false financial representations made when the team was purchased."

Basically, as I understand it, the league did not enforce it's salary cap creating a situation where the Renegades were put in a situation where they would have to raise their payroll to compete or stay under the cap and lose football games. Either way, they would lose money.

From TSN:
When the Renegades entered the CFL, their expansion agreement alluded to a league salary cap with penalties for violators. Watters claims those violations have never been punished and that a lack of enforcement of the cap led to the team's financial woes.

CFL commissioner Tom Wright has said he would like to have an enforceable salary cap in place for the 2006 season.

Any-who, the first home game for the Renegades is tomorrow night - Canada Day of course. I expect I'll see a lot of people in the neighbourhood (I live close to the stadium). I'll predict 25,000 fans.

Team Canada - Turin 2006 
A quick look at the players that are going to be invited to the training camp.

Only one Canadian NHL team has nobody from their lineup invited.

The Leafs.

Gay Marriage 
Can we talk about health care again now and not do anything about it? Maybe a good round of constitutional talks with nothing to show for them would be the Canadian thing to do.

Where is that navel again?

It's almost enough to make you cry - so I'll try to laugh... 
I have managed to get into the head of Mike Eizenga - I'll share his thoughts as he wrote this letter:

June 28, 2005

Dear Mr. ,

It was one of the most intense sessions of Parliament in Canadian history. (Holy shit! We were behind in the polls and we didn't have 8 months to prepare for an election!) Last month, Stephen Harper and the Bloc Quebecois almost got their wish for an election by putting their personal ambitions ahead of the needs of the country. (The nerve of them to think that their votes are equal to ours. We'll leave when we think it's best for the country.)

Canadians almost faced an election to further a neoconservative and separatist agenda. (I love that line - love it! Leave it all by itself!)

When parliament resumes this fall, Mr. Harper will try to bring the house down once again - even when Prime Minister Paul Martin has committed to an election 30 days after the final report from Justice Gomery. (Need to start stressing final report now - not the interim report - FINAL report)

Because of the ongoing Conservative – Bloc threat, (could I say neocon again?) we have to ensure our readiness to mount a winning campaign at any time. Your donation today will keep Canada working and moving forward under the leadership of Paul Martin’s Liberals.

DONATE (Fear mongering ads cost money people!)

We are fortunate not to be going to the polls today. (We need more money duh) There is important work yet to do. But we also have to be ready to fight an election at a moment’s notice.

Please respond before Canada Day with your gift and help us keep Canada working.

Thank you in advance for supporting the Liberal Party’s Campaign for Canada today.

Happy Canada Day!

DONATE (Fear mongering ads cost a lot of money people!)

Mike Eizenga


P.S. Summer’s here – and we need your support to keep our Campaign for Canada moving forward
(It's a great clincher - I can use this line every season)

Has Bev Desjarlais been kicked out the NDP caucus yet? 
Anyone know?

Surely Jack wouldn't let politics stand in the way of a principled decision. Canadians expect better.

You have to have patience 
To do this over and over...
Me: Hi, I'm Keith Fountain, the Conservative Party candidate.
Her: Ew, you guys are scary.
Me: Actually, we're not really scary. We have some good ideas. Let me give you an example (explains choice-centred childcare policy).
Her: Oh. That's a good idea.
Me: Thanks. We have more (conversation moves on to lower taxes, cleaner air, better deals for new Canadians, etc.)

Good work Keith.

Reaching Out 
James Bow (who's having a baby soon) started it, and Andrew 'tagged' me so here it goes....

Name three political individuals (they don't have to be politicians; they can be bloggers) with whom you frequently disagree. Be careful who you choose, because you'll have to use them in your next answer.

Alan at Gen X at 40
Jim Elve

For each individual, identify one characteristic of theirs that you admire, or one policy of theirs that you strongly agree with and write a paragraph or two on why.

All three of these guys are loud and proud leftists so you'll understand why I rarely agree with their thoughts on policy.

I will say what I admire about them though - sorry I don't have time for a paragraph:

Pogge: Usually well thought out posts and has showed fortitude in staying on topics that he started blogging about - Arar for example.

Alan: Great at cheating on his sports pools.

Jim: BlogsCanada is a great resource for new bloggers and I've enjoyed the E-Group he started despite it also causing me so much frustration.

I tag you three.

Dosanjh - "I am extremely disappointed" 
No wonder. Can you believe what the head of the Canadian Medical Association said?
Schumacher said the recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling, which allows patients to purchase private insurance so they can get speedier private medical care, has expedited the necessity for such a debate.
He said he's hoping for a more "mature" debate than the one that has dominated political discourse in the last decade, when any time anyone mentioned privatization it was immediately equated with the U.S. health system.
"We're not going to American health care. You're still going to have 95 per cent of the services of the country delivered by our universal insurance. It's that other five per cent -- just like in Europe.
Dosanjh is an ass.
(Story found from NealeNews)

And the balance will be restored.... 
From Eklund:
Many, many rumors....
everything from....
"It could be announced as early as tomorrow or Saturday that the Board of Governors and the players will ratify this next week."
"we are still weeks away from resolution."

I'm already looking forward to the summer being over.

Wanted to get some Live 8 tickets. All ready at 10am.

No idea what the freaking password was. Nothing on the Ticketmaster homepage, the Live-8 event page, or the page that was supposed to have 'password' info.

At 10:30 I realized that they knew I was in Ottawa (because I was logged in). Click the 'Change Location' link, type in Barrie, select 'Live 8', and presto - the freakin' password.


Rick Mercer registered jasonkenney.org thinking it's related to Don Boudria leaving donboudria.ca open for others to control.

Well, what should we direct the following to - afterall, Rick's an international sensation and should be in charge of his media empire....

RICKMERCER.US Just $6.95! - you save $1.00! Expires 6/30/2005!

And if everyone of these sites were directed to Jason Kenney's website, would a google search of Mercer's name take people to it? It might be worth trying.

UPDATE: rickmercer.info points to jasonkenney.com

Fountain on Foreign Aid 
Our candidate in Ottawa-Centre said the following today:
And aid is not charity. Like spending on the military and the foreign service, it's a tool for achieving our foreign policy objectives. In the case of aid, the main purpose is to help other countries to become secure, prosperous and democratic, which in turn improves our own security and prosperity. It also increases Canada's influence among our allies by demonstrating that we are a player internationally, which in turn helps us achieve our other international objectives. In other words, aid pays for itself.
If we want to be serious about making a difference in the world and helping Canada in turn, we need to put up the money. This means we should increase our aid to 0.7% of GDP, not in 2015 or 2010, but in 2006. But that's only half of the story; we need to change how we spend our aid money, and make sure that it directly connected to serving the interests of Canada, not those of a few well-connected Canadian NGOs. But that is a story for another day.

I think Keith would know a little bit about it too. He's spent a lot of time outside of Canada including most recently in Afghanistan.

Canadians need to look outward more - especially our leaders.

Liar Liar 

It's an amazing list.

Where is the Conservative Freefall? 
Ipsos Poll:
Parties June 28,2004 April 26-28, 2005 May 3-5,2005 May 10-12, 2005 May 16-18, 2005 June 14-16, 2005 Movement From Last Poll Since 2004 Election
Conservative Party 30% 33% 31% 31% 28% 29% +1% -1%
Liberals 37% 30% 32% 27% 34% 34% 0% -3%
New Democratic Party 16% 17% 16% 19% 17% 16% -1% 0%
Bloc Quebecois 12% 12% 12% 13% 14% 12% -2% 0%
Green Party 4% 5% 5% 6% 6% 6% 0% +2%

And using the magic seat projection tool and the regional numbers from the poll we get the following results based on last week's numbers:
Conservative Green Party Liberal N.D.P. Bloc Québécois Totals
Newfoundland and Labrador 2 0 5 0 0 7
Prince Edward Island 0 0 4 0 0 4
Nova Scotia 3 0 7 1 0 11
New Brunswick 2 0 7 1 0 10
Quebec 0 0 8 0 67 75
Ontario 24 0 77 5 0 106
Manitoba 5 0 5 4 0 14
Saskatchewan 6 0 5 3 0 14
Alberta 28 0 0 0 0 28
British Columbia 12 0 19 5 0 36
The North 0 0 2 1 0 3
Totals 82 0 139 20 67 308

So, the Conservatives would lose seats to the Liberals in BC, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. BQ gain in Quebec of course.

Ontario? No change since the election.


Ottawa Blogger Meetup 
Live blogging the meetup here at D'Arcy's -
- fans
- beer
- groupies

UPDATE1: Can't blog during meetup - crowd too large - too many fans - will try later....

UPDATE2: After getting home finally - had to turn back to the bar when I realized I didn't pay for my beers - I wanted to say it was great to meet and talk to Shannon, Andrew, Victor, Paul, Keith, Bruce, Paul, and Blair.

Let's do it again soon.

The unexpected 
My daily read Eklund says, regarding the NHL lockout, "Everyone is incredibly tight-lipped...stay tuned...expect the unexpected."

I'm thinking that the NHL owners and the NHL players have secretly agreed to put Goodenow and Bettman into the Hockey Enforcers tournament unless they finalize this thing by July 1st.

File it under WTF 
"Well-loved children grow into adults who do not build concentration camps"
Okay, it's out of context but really...

Hockey Enforcers 
Matt Fletcher asked whether I had seen this debacle:
Welcome to a world premere event, welcome to HOCKEY ENFORCERS!
A pay-per-view (PPV) sports spectacular, the likes of which has never seen before featuring players from all genres; former professionals, current professionals, and the toughest players that semi-pro and junior hockey has ever produced.
Watch 16 of the world’s toughest best hockey fighters throw down in a series of battles, presented in tournament style, to be crowed the champion. To advance, players will meet at center ice, when the puck drops, the gloves are off! Each on-ice fight will last a maximum of 60 seconds as part of a minimum “two fight knock-out” style tournament format.

Scanning through the fighter bios it looks like a lot of them come from the LNAH - the semi-pro league in Quebec that the instigator rule forgot.

In their 60 game season they had 33 players with over 200 PIMs. The NHL had 6 - in 84 games.

Oh, of course, Hockey Enforcers also has Enforcer Girls. No details on their contribution to the event.

On Matt's blog he asks "Is this what it has come to?" Nah. This would have happened regardless of a lockout.

By the way, wrt the lockout - according to Eklund: A Player Source, "We are really close to a vote."

Molson Canadian presents.... 
Cue the bass beat.

Stephen Harper - coming to a neighbourhood barbeque near you.
People, for all kinds of reasons, have a misperception of Harper, says Tory deputy leader Peter MacKay.
And, MacKay adds, Harper knows it."He's also come to understand that people have to like you," MacKay said outside the weekly Conservative caucus meeting on Parliament Hill.
"And they will like him."
MacKay says Harper is smart, honest, hard working and funny, and he needs to show that to voters.
"I think we have to show a sunny disposition and show to Canadians that we're competent, we're professional, we're disciplined and we're ready to govern," he said.
"That takes some doing, and it takes some time."
To that end, the Tory leader will be hitting the barbecue circuit like never before, glad-handing his way from one event to another.

I think it's a good idea.

Now it would be a great idea if Mackay drove the party van and carried in the 2-4 as they crashed backyard parties across the country.

Okay - drove the party van to the first one - and then let Stock drive afterwards.

Independance - Sovereignty 
Laurent has an interesting post here about the PQ's use of these two words.

The Bible and Anne of Green Gables 
Over at Wells' site:
Blogosphere Book Club: Special guest blogger Her Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, C.C., C.M.M., C.O.M., C.D., Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada

I am not making this up. Her Excellency paused on the eve of a five-day tour of Canada's Arctic to accept the book-tag challenge I threw down last week. Over to you, Excellency:

You can read her answers here.

Hat-tip to James Bow.

Kudos to the CBC 
When I saw on the top of the hour that The National was doing a report on Christian involvement in politics I must have rolled my eyes and shook my head.

Maybe it was because my expectations were so low, but, I have to say it was very well done

Keith Boag presented the report and you can watch it here. Forward to the 40 minute mark.

Totally off-topic post 
Maybe it's the heat but I've been listening to Jagged Little Pill that my wife put in the CD changer of the van. I typically skip You Oughta Know, Hand in My Pocket, and Ironic - probably still sick of them from when they were released - but I find myself really liking the rest of the album.

Anyway, I saw today that it's been 10 years since it was released. CBC.ca has a review of an acoustic version of the album released by Morissette. The writer of the review, Andre Mayer put down the album, the orginal album, Morissette, and pretty much all female pop singers before or after with so much gusto that it actually made me look up the definition of word critic:

Main Entry: 1crit·ic
Pronunciation: 'kri-tik
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin criticus, from Greek kritikos, from kritikos able to discern or judge, from krinein
1 a : one who expresses a reasoned opinion on any matter especially involving a judgment of its value, truth, righteousness, beauty, or technique b : one who engages often professionally in the analysis, evaluation, or appreciation of works of art or artistic performances
2 : one given to harsh or captious judgment

It think he leans to the latter.

I glanced at some of the other reviews in his archive:

May 17, 2005
Why the Long Face? Pop music's love of misery
March 15, 2005
Hit the Road, Jaxx Why dance music doesn't move America
February 22, 2005
Take Cover! How the cover tune became the most insincere gesture in pop music.
February 1, 2005
Immaterial Girls Why looking for the new Madonna is a lost cause

Everything sucks. It must be tough being a critic.

Real Mike's thought 
Many bloggers have commentors that are always there to add to your site - I've got Real Mike. His comment on the last post is a good one:

Let's be clear on the status quo. Private health care exists. It is just illegal to have services provided by the provincial health plan to be insured privately in Canada (except workmans compensation). Currently you can pay cash in Canada for covered or non-covered health services. Currently you can buy insurance for non-covered health services.
This ruling allows insurance to be available for covered health services. This is important as it will allow private health services to be accessed more conveniently, in particular expensive procedures with low rates of occurrence.
It is important to note that insurance is not free; there is a cost. It is also important to note that cost increases with chance of claim and isn't necessarily even available when the risk of claim becomes excessively high. For example, a 70 year old is unlikely to be able to purchase health insurance for anything yet alone hip replacement, even if they have no history of hip problems. Why? Because the likelihood of hip replacement is very high and charging a $10,000 premium for a $20,000 service isn't going to generate many sales for the insurance company.
The right to buy insurance is a step in the right direction. However, for the geriatric crowd the options will remain, provincial health services or cash; that is, the status quo.

Too crazy busy to write something... 
so go read Colby Cosh for his view on the ruling by the Supreme Court.

Paul Martin had this to say about the future of Health Care:
"Well, unlike Stephen Harper, I do care. I will look those Santa Suits in the eye and I will say 'no', unlike Stephen Harper, I will defend medicare."

This part of the decision is especially stunning - NOT:
Here, the evidence on the experience of other western democracies with public health care systems that permit access to private health care refutes the government’s theory that a prohibition on private health insurance is connected to maintaining quality public health care. It does not appear that private participation leads to the eventual demise of public health care.

NHL in the fall? 
Many people don't trust uber-rumour-blogger Eklund but Bob's now saying the same thing:
At first glance, it looks like standard fare - lots of work to be done, meetings next week - but it's the final line where he says, "at which time we hope to begin discussing a myriad of other CBA issues" that could actually signal a somewhat momentous breakthrough.
The key phrase here is "other CBA issues," with "other" meaning, not financial or accounting.
Which appears to imply that the really heavy lifting on nailing down the nuts and bolts of a new economic system, from defining what is hockey-related revenue to deciding what percentage the players will get to what is the salary floor, the salary ceiling, the payroll range and all other matters relating to salary cap-ology have been agreed to.

I hope Hasek's been staying in shape.

A question 
If the Conservatives got a majority, would a 'Traditional Marriage' Bill pass?

Andrew Spicer got me thinking about it so I ran a scenario where the Tories rock Ontario and actually get a majority government. How would the SSM votes change?

I'm going guess that for this Tory majority, Ontario breaks down 77 for the Conservatives, 17 Liberal, and 12 NDP. Pretty far-fetched but it's really the only way for Harper to get a majority in the short term.

I'm assuming all the other provinces and their MPs votes on SSM remain relatively the same after an election.

Of the 35 Liberal votes against SSM, 23 of them came from Ontario. According to my numbers, 16 of those 23 seats would go to the Conservatives and 1 to the NDP. So, of those ridings, you probably have a net gain for SSM of at least 1 seat.

Of the pro-SSM Ontario Liberals, 37 of them would lose their seats to the Conservatives.

In order to make up the different in the House of Commons - 140 members against at last count I believe, 16 of those 37 new Conservative MPs would have to vote for the Conservative proposal. A reasonable assumption.

So, I take back my comments on Andrew Spicer's blog - if the Conservatives actually got a majority government, I think the Conservative proposal for legislating the traditional definition of marriage would probably pass.

Did that make any sense at all?

Conservative grassroots vs Liberal big money 
Interesting article here at The Hill Times - via Bourque.
The Conservatives raised $2.6-million in the first three months of 2005, and out-fundraised the governing Liberals which brought in $2.2-million during the same period, according to the first-ever set of quarterly financial reports disclosed by Elections Canada...
Based on the 2004 June election results, the Liberals will get an allowance of $8.8-million this year, while the Conservatives will get $7.2-million. The NDP will get $3.8-million, and the Bloc just over $3-million. When factoring its $8.8-million allowance and the $2.2-million already raised through individual contributions, the Liberal Party will be able to bank on at least $11-million in 2005. This is not counting whatever the party raises from April to December.
Duff Conacher, coordinator of Ottawa-based Democracy Watch, said the $5,000 individual limit is too high and therefore "undemocratic" because the average Canadian can't afford it. He said the limit encourages the kind of abuses seen in the sponsorship scandal where ad executives testified they got their employees to donate to the Liberal Party. Mr. Conacher said the limit should be lowered to $1,000. In an analysis of the party contributions made from January to March, Mr. Conacher found that the Liberals have many more donors who gave over $1,000 than all other parties combined. He also found that the average donation to the Liberals ($314.84) was 3.4 times larger than the other parties.
The first quarter disclosure statements on the Elections Canada website also show the NDP raised nearly $560,000 while the Bloc brought in $126,000.
So, the Liberals had around 7,000 donors. (2,200,000/314.84) The Conservatives had around 28,000 donors. (2,600,000/(314.84/3.4))

Pretty impressive.

And to think, this doesn't even include the money we raised during the Blogging Tories Challenge!

Hebert column 
Hat-tip to the Tiger in Winter for this one.

Hebert's column is titled "Whispers of rebellion swirl in Martin ranks". Here's a bit from the heart of the column:
The fact is, over the past few months the Prime Minister has compounded the damage wreaked on the credibility of Canada's political class by his predecessor.
Bridges between the government and the opposition were ordered burned as part of a parliamentary procedural war. Merit was shown to come a poor second to naked partisan interest in the allocation of government responsibilities. Deniability was given precedence over accountability.
The democratic deficit Martin so likes to wax lyrical about has been compounded into an ethical one. And past sins of omission and/or commission have been overshadowed by current, in-your-face transgressions.
If the Prime Minister is willing to fudge so many lines as part of a mere parliamentary showdown, what of a full-fledged unity crisis?

And the finale:
Some of Martin's cabinet loyalists are now quietly questioning whether their loyalty to him is in conflict with their duty to the country — and so probably should the rest of us.
Here's your chance Belinda! PM Stronach! Do it for the country!
Sorry about that - I'm still shaking my head over her press conferences the day of her defection.

Back to reality - this Globe article quotes Galloway and mentions other Liberal MPs confronting Martin:
"The use of the words 'Senate' and 'foreign posting,' even if no offer was made, is totally odious. There are several MPs who are remaining silent but who think Murphy and Dosanjh have crossed the threshold of acceptable political discourse."
Another senior Liberal MP in effect dared the PM to suspend the two men: "If the Prime Minister feels it is necessary for his Minister of Health and his chief of staff to step aside, then he should do it. If he remains silent about it, it means he really doesn't have any concerns about it."
But the MP is not optimistic.
"The bar is so low now. . . . Have you ever seen anything like this?
"Everybody gets away with stuff. It's just a joke."

Dosanjh's experts 
From CTV:
"I said yesterday not much stock should be placed in those tapes, my suspicions have come true, independent experts from (Ottawa radio station) CFRA have said the tapes have been doctored," Dosanjh said during Thursday's question period, referring to producers at the radio station.

CFRA producers have examined the .wav files of the tapes and offer their opinions.
Both believe the tapes have been edited.
Note: The following are the opinions of the producers and are not being presented as proof. Our producers are not forensic investigators.
Madely in the Morning technical producer Mike Murphy says that the first excerpt has two audible "clicks" where it appears that another piece of tape has been inserted. Murphy says that the clicks are visible by spikes in the .wav file (pictured above).
CFRA producer Barry Hayes says the background noise in the other tape could be proof of an edit. He say it appears that the part the Liberals claim was inserted into the tape may have come from another venue because of the difference in background noise.
Both said that the editing job looks "Amateurish". Murphy says that if he were teaching an editing course and a student turned this in, he or she would certainly fail the assignment.
However other explanations are being offered. One woman who called in to The Lowell Green Show told guest host Steve Madely that she uses a tape recorder and gets the same sort of clicks on the tape when the "speed" button is hit, perhaps by accident.
Another caller suggests that a sound sensitive microphone, known as VOX, could create the same clicking noise when it stops and starts the tape.
Most callers agree though, that to get to the bottom of the tape issue, an independent audio expert should be given the original tapes to examine.
Well, that solves it. Let me get my independent expert - my brother used to tape music years ago - to give his opinion too. Dosanjh is a joke.

A little break from the ordinary 
There's a book thing going around - you fill in the blanks and then tag five other bloggers - they then have to do the same. Jay Jardine tagged me - maybe because I gave him a book for a going away present when he left Ottawa?

# of books I own:
Not including children's books or my wife's or reference books - only around 10 I would guess. I don't actually understand why you would keep a book after you've read it - not that I'm a big reader - same with VHS/DVDs. Music I keep.

Last Book I Bought:

Rene Levesque's Memoirs I think at the used book sale at my daughter's school. I really enjoyed reading it - it was translated. Not sure if any Liberals have questioned the translation.

Last Book I Read:

The Pokey Little Puppy - read to the youngest one last night.

5 books that mean a lot to me:

The Grizzly King - a book I remember my Dad reading to my brother and I. It's about Thor - a mighty Grizzly in the Rockies.

Go Dog Go - a Seuss-like book that I loved as a kid and one I love reading to mine. "Do you like my hat?" "No, I do not like that hat."

The Stone Angel, Grapes of Wrath, and Who has seen the Wind - books we had to read in high school. I don't have time to do any serious self-inspection here but these books really felt comfortable to me (perhaps due to a rural background) and I think they developed my views on relationships and self.

My parents encyclopedia set - not a book I know but the hours I spent reading whatever letter in my room on a rainy day, in the bathroom, or whatever has to be worth a lot.

Number five, ummm, can't think of a good one. The old copy of King Arthur perhaps my parents had. Empire Lite I read a couple of years ago - it's pretty good though very short read for providing a view of American military intervention in Kosovo/Bosnia/Afghanistan.

Honourable mention: Homelessness - a book by Jack Layton that cemented the impression I first had that the man is not going to light many fires in this country. A very serious topic - Layton makes it into a work of self-promotion and terrible writing - I had a hard time reading it.

I think I've learned that I haven't read many books since having children - that's probably normal for somebody who uses what little free time they have to watch/play sports or blog.

Okay, now for the fun part. I tag....
Patrick from Shamrocks!
Andrew from Bound by Gravity
Andrew of the Spicer variety
lets see, who else....
Fletcher from Living in a Society
and (man, has everybody done this already, oh, here's one) Paul Wells
Oh - one more - I'd love to see what Sean of PolSpy thinks.

The Belinda Tapes 
Wente releases a partial transcript.

The decision for the RCMP 
It's really quite simple isn't it?

If they find Grewal's story is credible. Charge Dosanjh and Murphy and investigate Martin.

If they find Grewal's story isn't credible. Charge Dosanjh, Murphy, and Grewal, and investigate Martin.

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