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   PoliticsCanada@The HotStove Club

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To: pocotrader who wrote (648)12/15/2018 3:24:54 AM
From: axial
2 Recommendations   of 1199
I think you nailed it —

'I don't know what Canada can do in this situation, forget about trading with China?,
just trade with the EU and other reasonable or true democratic countries.
ride out the storm until that idiot down south ruining everything he touches gets the boot.'

We'll just have to tough it out, IMO.

But while that's happening -- it'll be 5+ years -- I'm worried about political trends in Canada. The trend is Polarization - Populism. Rising hatreds and politically-driven antagonism— especially since the 2008 economic/financial crisis.

So far, Canada has withstood the extremism that's growing elsewhere in the world, but we've had a taste and it's being encouraged by political opportunists.

What’s gotten into the Liberals?

' A sense of mission is what. Gerald Butts, Trudeau’s principal secretary, has characterized the Liberal leader’s work these days as a struggle “to keep Canada Canada.” In early November, I asked a senior Liberal political staffer who’d moved to Ottawa from a provincial capital how he was enjoying the transition. “One thing I hadn’t expected was that we’d be fighting for Canada,” he said. “But we really are.” '


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To: James Seagrove who wrote (659)12/15/2018 3:54:14 AM
From: axial
3 Recommendations   of 1199
Mister Seagrove, your history tells ...

Your incoherent spam (a variant of toxic posts on the Canadian Political Free-for-All) has earned you this thread's first ban.



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From: axial12/15/2018 4:21:47 AM
   of 1199
Johnson & Johnson knew for decades that asbestos lurked in its Baby Powder

' The earliest mentions of tainted J&J talc that Reuters found come from 1957 and 1958 reports by a consulting lab. They describe contaminants in talc from J&J’s Italian supplier as fibrous and “acicular,” or needle-like, tremolite. That’s one of the six minerals that in their naturally occurring fibrous form are classified as asbestos.

At various times from then into the early 2000s, reports by scientists at J&J, outside labs and J&J’s supplier yielded similar findings. The reports identify contaminants in talc and finished powder products as asbestos or describe them in terms typically applied to asbestos, such as “fiberform” and “rods.”

In 1976, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was weighing limits on asbestos in cosmetic talc products, J&J assured the regulator that no asbestos was “detected in any sample” of talc produced between December 1972 and October 1973. It didn’t tell the agency that at least three tests by three different labs from 1972 to 1975 had found asbestos in its talc – in one case at levels reported as “ rather high.”

Most internal J&J asbestos test reports Reuters reviewed do not find asbestos. However, while J&J’s testing methods improved over time, they have always had limitations that allow trace contaminants to go undetected – and only a tiny fraction of the company’s talc is tested.'


— Canada too, of course.

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To: James Seagrove who wrote (655)12/15/2018 10:16:15 AM
From: Wharf Rat
   of 1199
Already been to Jasper.

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From: axial12/16/2018 5:03:32 PM
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As Russian economy & Putin’s popularity tumble, war drums grow louder

' Pavel Felgenhauer, a Moscow-based military analyst, said he sees evidence — including a buildup of troops and tanks along Russia’s border with Ukraine, and the deployment of new missile systems to Crimea — suggesting that Mr. Putin is at least considering a major military operation against Ukraine. In response to the buildup, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has declared martial law in 10 provinces, including all those that share a border with Russia, and called up some reserve soldiers for training exercises.

“Both sides are readying for a major regional war,” Mr. Felgenhauer said in an interview. “The situation is very precarious.”


Mr. Putin saw his popularity soar after both the seizure of Crimea in 2014 and Russia’s victory in a brief 2008 war with neighbouring Georgia. Some worry that he’ll be tempted to seek another such boost, with the Azov Sea — a strategic body of water between Russia and Ukraine — seen as a potential target this time.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has warned that a Nov. 25 incident near the entrance to the Azov Sea — which saw Russian warships fire on and then seize three Ukrainian military boats, taking all 24 crew members prisoner — could be a prelude to a larger Russian military move. While Mr. Poroshenko’s domestic rivals accuse him of exaggerating the threat in order to boost his own flagging political fortunes — polls suggest Mr. Poroshenko is on track to lose his job in a March election — military experts say there are reasons to take the Ukrainian president’s warning seriously. A report this week by the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank, concluded that recent Russian troop movements suggest that “Russia is setting military conditions to prepare its forces for open conflict with Ukraine.”

Mr. Felgenhauer sees the same thing. The recent naval clash, he said, was significant because it was the first time Russia’s military — rather than a proxy force — had openly attacked Ukrainians. A video of the incident captured a Russian officer suggesting, in an expletive-filled rant delivered as his warship rammed a Ukrainian tugboat, that he and his men were acting on orders from Mr. Putin himself.

“They were shooting on orders from Putin,” Mr. Felgenhauer said. “That’s nasty and dangerous and means someone has gotten hysterical in the Kremlin.”

Alexander Mikhailov, a retired major-general who served in Russia’s FSB security service, told The Globe and Mail that he too expects the fighting in Ukraine to spike in the near future, though he said Russia did not need to get directly involved. He hinted that Russia could instead transfer more weapons and troops to the pro-Russian separatists, allowing them to break the stalemate that has seen the front line in eastern Ukraine remain largely static since 2015.'


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From: axial12/16/2018 5:09:06 PM
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Punches thrown during anti-immigration protest in Edmonton

' Members of both the pro and anti-immigration groups wore yellow work vests Saturday, like demonstrators in France participating in ongoing protests against that country's high cost of living.

"Trudeau isn't supporting Canadians anymore," said demonstrator Taylor Mansfield. "He's supporting immigration too much."

Counter protestor Adebayo Katiiti vehemently disagrees with the anti-immigration argument.

"They don't know our stories. They're like 'Oh, go back where you're coming from.' That's white privilege," said Katiiti, who is originally from Uganda. "Racism is dangerous, and it's what they're representing."

Similar rallies were held Saturday in Calgary, Red Deer and Fort McMurray.'


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From: axial12/16/2018 5:18:36 PM
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Ontario — Tories cut cultural funding, revamp tribunals in scramble for savings

' Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives are reviewing the future funding of a slew of government programs — including the Indigenous Culture Fund that was the province’s response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.


While Finance Minister Vic Fedeli blamed “the recklessness of the previous Liberal government” for the setback, Moody’s suggested the new government bears some responsibility.

“Financing requirements for deficits and capital expenditures will result in an increase in the province’s already elevated net direct and indirect debt level,” the firm said, pointing to looming revenue shortfalls due to tax cuts.

“Recent actions undertaken by the province have included measures that reduce revenue levels, adding to budgetary pressure.”

Fedeli said the deficit is $14.5 billion, while the financial accountability officer maintains it is at least $1.2 billion lower.

The Tories have revised accounting methods and no longer count $11 billion in joint-sponsored public pensions as assets, which is worth anywhere between $1 billion and $5 billion to the annual bottom line. Cindy Veinot, the provincial controller, resigned as the government’s top accountant in September after refusing to sign the public accounts because she felt the deficit was inflated.

NDP MPP Sandy Shaw said Moody’s downgrading of Ontario’s credit rating to Aa3 from Aa2 is due to both the Liberals and the Tories.

“The Liberal government let us down, but this credit rating is forward-looking, which means Doug Ford is now making things even worse,” said Shaw (Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas).
The government also quietly axed funding for the College of Midwives of Ontario, which had been waiting for the money since April 1.

“This means that the funding we had anticipated for the current fiscal year will not be received,” the college said in an update on its website. “We received this news on Nov. 8, 2018, eight months into our fiscal year.”

The college, which regulates the profession, has been receiving government grants from the health ministry for 25 years, and had been waiting for $705,553 in funding this year.
Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner called the decision “short-sighted and reactionary ... the long-term financial costs and reduced health care services will far outweigh any ‘savings’ the government hopes to gain.”

In October, the government also cut all funding to the OPHEA, a non-profit resource and training organization for phys-ed teachers. It had received funding for the past 16 years. The organization was a key player in supporting the implementation of the updated sex-ed curriculum, which was scrapped by the Ford government.'


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From: axial12/16/2018 7:16:38 PM
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Canada is looking for a way out of big Saudi arms deal, says PM

' Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, speaking in an interview that aired on Sunday, said for the first time that his Liberal government was looking for a way out of a multibillion-dollar arms deal with Saudi Arabia. The comments represented a notable hardening in tone from Trudeau, who previously said there would be huge penalties for scrapping the $13 billion agreement for armored vehicles made by the Canadian unit of General Dynamics Corp. Last month, Trudeau said Canada could freeze the relevant export permits if it concluded the weapons had been misused.

“We are engaged with the export permits to try and see if there is a way of no longer exporting these vehicles to Saudi Arabia,” Trudeau told CTV. He did not give further details.

Political opponents, citing the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the Yemen war, insist Trudeau should end the General Dynamics deal, which was negotiated by the previous Conservative government.'


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From: axial12/16/2018 11:02:20 PM
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Canada quietly concludes additional auto talks with Japan

' When CPTPP takes effect, Canada will begin to eliminate its 6.1 per cent tariff on car imports from Japan and the other countries that have ratified the agreement. (Eleven countries signed the CPTPP, but only seven — including Canada and Japan — have ratified it so far and are now ready to start cutting tariffs.)

For Japanese vehicle brands not currently manufactured in Canada, the CVMA estimates that some $300-400 million in annual tariffs could be avoided once Canada's tariff is fully phased out over four years.

In theory, that could make cars like Mazdas or Subarus cheaper here — assuming the savings are passed on to consumers and not reinvested elsewhere by the companies.

About 25 per cent of the Japanese branded vehicles sold in Canada are imports. But according to the Japanese Automobile Manufacturers of Canada (JAMA), imports represent about half of the 100 models available, including the "next generation" hi-tech vehicles that may use greener power sources (electric, fuel cell or hybrid) or more artificial intelligence than Canadian-made vehicles.

While Nantais admits consumers could benefit from more choices down the road, he wonders whether that creates jobs in Canada.'


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From: axial12/16/2018 11:15:50 PM
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Meng Wanzhou: China’s “tantrum diplomacy” and Huawei
As Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou sits in Canada, awaiting potential extradition to the United States, her case underscores two themes that have become evident throughout 2018:
  1. The ambitions of China’s technology and telecommunications firms are feeling a pronounced pushback from across the developed world, which is likely to severely hamper their abilities to reach their lofty development and expansion goals. This also puts China’s ambitious development objectives in question as well.
  2. The tools of statecraft which China seems to rely on in managing the more tempestuous global environment are remarkably limited, and often counterproductive.
The 46-year-old Meng, daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei and the firm’s chief financial officer, was arrested on 1 December in Vancouver. She faces charges in the United States of fraud involving millions of dollars in an attempt to evade US sanctions of Iran. This has provoked an outcry in China, with its foreign ministry demanding Meng’s release. Chinese law enforcement also detained a former Canadian diplomat working in the country as a senior advisor at a prominent non-government organisation. Many suspect that the detention was in response to Meng’s.

On the afternoon of 11 December, Meng was released on a bail for 10 million Canadian dollars.


In September, a Chinese national employed by a state-sponsored media agency was arrested and charged with assault in the UK after violently disrupting a meeting of Britain’s Conservative party, slapping and verbally abusing the participants after they discussed the issue of human rights and rule of law in Hong Kong. These actions were widely praised on Chinese social media, and defended by the Chinese embassy in London, who demanded an apology.

This came only weeks after an incident in Sweden in which disruptive Chinese tourists were forcibly removed by police from a hotel lobby after they refused to leave. Although video of the incident seems to show Swedish police handling the situation in a professional manner, China demanded an apology from the Swedish government (many experts suspect such demands may have been related to a visit from the Dalai Lama a week earlier).

This “tantrum diplomacy” has become a regular occurrence. In June, days before the Australian television 60 Minutes aired a report critical of Chinese diplomacy in the Pacific, the station received an unusually aggressive phone call from Saixian Cao, head of media affairs for the Chinese embassy in Canberra. “Take this down and take it to your leaders,” Cao reportedly shouted into the phone to executive producer Kristy Thompson. “You will listen … There must be no more misconduct in the future!”

China is fighting too many battles, and its companies are paying the price

While China’s nationalistic “tantrum diplomacy” may make headlines and damage China’s image abroad, it may simply be trying to do too much too quickly, and causing problems for itself in the process.

Its territorial disputes with Japan, Vietnam, and India are not helping engender goodwill with those key neighbours, and the massively ambitious Belt and Road Initiative have many countries concerned about corruption, debt, and Chinese military expansion. Nor have its cyber-attacks on various international institutions helped China’s cause.

As the US steps back from the world stage, China has an opportunity to make progress in meeting some of its most important national goals. Unfortunately, its attempt to achieve all its goals at once in a clumsy and overly aggressive way is seeming to ensure that it will achieve few, or even none, of them, and make far more enemies than friends.

At this moment, it seems that China’s technology firms are paying the price for their leaders’ miscalculation.'


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