"I didn't know" 
We'll probably never know the truth about Saint-Lambert in 1997 but maybe if enough pieces like this come out we'll get close...

(Hat-tip to Spector)

The end of the presentation of evidence yesterday left an intriguing question unanswered. In an earlier hearing, the court was told that Mr. Brault's right-hand man, François Desjardins, had run errands to the home of Mr. Chrétien in the late 1990s.
"I went to the home of Prime Minister Chrétien, on several occasions. Once I drove Mr. Chrétien's brother, from Saint-Lambert, to Sussex Drive," Mr. Desjardins said in a statement to the RCMP that was read in court last fall.
Neither Crown nor defence lawyers could elaborate yesterday on that statement.
I've blogged about the Saint-Lambert riding before - focussing on the 1997 federal election. It was close and had some very big names providing money to the Liberals.
Operating loan information
Gaby Chretien $5,000
A. Desmarais/Finance Chretien Desmarais $3,000

The Liberal candidate received 25% of her legally declared donations from the following companies and/or their employees.
Le Groupe Polygone Editeurs Inc.

It all makes this statement harder and harder to believe.

I'm sure you figured that out by now.

At the airport 
Senator Romeo D'Allaire is on my flight to Toronto this morning. Cool.

Congratulations to Quebec 
First Harper gives Quebec a seat at UNESCO and now this!

Menard's rink beats a struggling team from Ontario. Too many misses - way off draw weight early in the game.

When that final shot is made curling suddenly becomes like NASCAR - the skip doesn't have his gripper on and his front end is jumping up and down - you're waiting for the crash.

Brier prediction 
For you curling newbies, four teams make the playoffs and they use the "Page" system. 3rd plays 4th and the loser is out. We'll call the winner Nova Scotia (Mark Dacey) as he's going to beat Alberta (Kevin Martin) who clearly doesn't have any momentum (curled 50 some percent yesterday) going into the 2pm game.
The 1st place team (Ontario - Glenn Howard) plays the 2nd place team (Quebec - Menard). Howard's playing lights out so pencil him in as the winner - later tonight.
Menard will then play Dacey and will beat him.
The rematch between Ontario and Quebec in the final on Sunday will be won by Howard. The only unknown is whether Glenn will copy his older brother's trademark arm raised 90° clenched fist with a slight pump when he wins.

Dacey won the 3/4 game as I had forseen. Everything that has transpired has done so according to my design.
(Voice in my head): 'Your overconfidence is your weakness'
Me: Your faith in your friends is yours!
Co-workers: Don, who the $%^$ are you yelling at?

All the pieces are falling into place. Great game by Howard.

Menard wins and faces Howard again today. The dominos fall exactly as I had laid them out.

I support funding the child 
Sara from Choice for Childcare has called for people to stand up today if they support programs that give parents more choices - not the Liberal and NDP plan to only subsidize institutional daycare spots.

During the election I wrote this:
There are roughly 600,000* children in Ontario between 0 and 4 years. The Liberal plan is to create 25,000 spaces by 2008. Currently there are about 125,000 spaces*
in Ontario. The Liberal plan will not be subsidizing the cost to the parents of those spaces.
He compares his daycare program to Medicare. Imagine - his solution for Medicare would be to increase hospital spaces by 20% - to total 25% of the patients and then make them still pay for it.It's not a national program. It's a sound bite and a photo op.
The Conservative policy isn't a national program either - they don't claim it to be one. It's a small government solution to help address an issue that most Canadians agree needs to be addressed - helping parents.
We know that creating a real national daycare program would cost billions more than what either the NDP or Liberals have proposed. It would put more pressure, through increased taxation on the working parent and from societal pressure, to have both parents in the work force. Is that good? Is that bad? I don't know.
I do know that we don't quantify the benefit that a stay at home parent provides to our society. Helping out at our schools, helping the libraries and community centers, and helping to care for elderly parents are just a couple of the things that come to mind.
It doesn't actually matter as no party is proposing such a national program.
I think the Conservative plan is better, realistic, and more honest than either of the other parties are proposing.

If the Liberals and NDP think that the Conserverative party didn't get a lot of votes from traditionally non-Conservative voters because of their childcare allowance they are seriously out of touch.

Curling fines 

Jeff Stoughton got fined $1,000 for slamming his broom after a bad end. He slammed it once then a CCA official told him not to do it again so Stoughton did it again.

I suggest they pass the hat around the Brier patch to raise the money - coins only - and dump it in the CCA's lap. They seem intent on continually alienating our top players and curling fans.

E-mail the CCA here if you disagree with them.

BTW - he won that game against Dacey so he's still in the hunt.

4 losses is most likely going to be the cutoff. The big games today will be:
2pm: NS (Dacey) needs to beat Alb (Martin) to stay at 4 L
8pm: Sask (Simmons) and BC (Windsor) both have 4L and if they both win their games against the bottom teams earlier in the day the winner of this game will advance
8pm: Man (Stoughton) plays Ont (Howard) - obviously Jeff needs to win

Bob Rae as Liberal leader - good or bad for the NDP? 
I find the interesting thing about the possibility of Bob Rae become the leader of the Liberal party is thinking how it would affect the strategy of the NDP.

On the one hand, they could go with a similar type of attack that they did when Martin was leading the Liberals. While they campaign that the Conservatives are wrong on the issues, they don't say the same about the Liberals. They would say that you can't trust them and that they have broken their promises time and time again.
They would modify it only slightly with Rae. Painting him as untrustworthy would be key. His legacy is one of broken promises and deficits.

On the other hand, how can they say this while avoiding the fact that his legacy is also the legacy of the NDP in Ontario?

Stoughton fading 
Manitoba has now lost 4 games in a row. Quite the turn of events when it looked earlier in the week like the battle was for the fourth spot behind Alberta, Ontario, and Manitoba.

He's got a huge game against Dacey at 3pm who's sitting with 3 losses.

Standings here.

Mexico pounds Canada 
After last night's defeat at the hands of Mexico, Canada just needs South Africa to beat the US.


For trade deadline reaction, be sure to check out the Battle of Ontario. Arnason is going to look nice between Havlat and Smolinski on the 2nd line. Fisher will center Schaefer and Niel and the fast fourth line will give lots of teams fits with Vermette, Eaves, and Kelly.

Canada beat the US but pretty much must beat Mexico to advance 
If Canada beats Mexico they will advance to the next round.

If they lose to Mexico then, assuming the US beats South Africa, all three teams will have 2-1 records.

The first tiebreaker format in this tournament is:
Ties shall be broken in the following order of priority:
- The team that defeated the other tied team head-to-head in a given Round shall be ranked higher in the pool standings for such Round.
- The tied teams shall be ranked in the standings for that Round according to fewest runs allowed divided by the number of innings (including partial innings) played in defense in the games in that Round between the teams tied.
- The tied teams shall be ranked in the standings according to fewest earned runs allowed divided by the number of innings (including partial innings) played in defense in the games in that Round between the teams tied.
- The tied teams shall be ranked in the standings according to highest batting average in games in that Round between the teams tied.
- Standings shall be determined by the drawing of lots, conducted by WBCI.

Currently the runs allowed for each team are:
Mexico: 6
US: 8
Canada: 14

So - it's basically a must win game for Canada. 8pm EST.

UPDATED after discussion with co-worker - didn't notice this part of the tiebreaker:

The tied teams shall be ranked in the standings for that Round according to fewest runs allowed divided by the number of innings (including partial innings) played in defense in the games in that Round between the teams tied.


Currently the runs allowed for each team are:

Mexico: 2
Canada: 6
US: 8

So this means that Canada has to hold Mexico to 1 run if they don't win.

If Mexico wins 2-0 then the next tiebreaker comes into effect - earned runs. I don't know... but the WBC site does I guess:
Canada advances:
• If it wins Thursday in its game against Mexico, finishing Pool play with a perfect 3-0 record.
• If it loses Thursday against Mexico, but allows two runs or less.

Fast and furious action 
Click on the baseball diamond beside the games to get wicked pitch by pitch updates.

Canada's up 2-0 in the 2nd against the US while Panama just tied Cuba in the bottom of the 9th.

Is Gretzky running Team Canada in this tourney too? 
We squeaked past South Africa in our WBC opener last night - yes, squeaked - South Africa.

Anyway, we'll cut the team some slack as they head into this afternoon's game against the Yanks. It's at 4pm.

Mexico only lost to the American's 2-0 which tells you something about how these games aren't predictable.

On another note, Chris Selley of Tart Cider fame has joined the Blue team over at The Battle of Ontario. Check it out.

Your WBC update 
So, Korea beat Japan 3-2 meaning they win their pool and will face the number 2 team from Canada's pool - expected to be either us or Mexico.

Korea has one of the best pitching staffs in the tournament and in a tournament like this it is key.

Our first game (schedule) is tomorrow against South Africa. Wednesday against the US and then Mexico on Thursday.

World Baseball Classic 
Cool - I didn't know about this until today.

Canada starts pool play next week.

Our roster is here. We've got some talent on the lineup and need to finish 2nd in our pool to advance. That means beating out 2 of the US, Mexico, and South Africa.

Hockey, politics 
Here's a CTV article about Harper the hockey dad. Video here. From the story...
One small irony of the team is that Ben plays left wing, while Nathaniel Dewar -- son of local NDP MP Paul Dewar, who represents the Ottawa Centre riding -- plays on the right wing.
Good one.

CTV made a mistake though - it's the Sandy Hill Cougars - not the Chargers which I think are the Ottawa Centre team.

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