Yes, Democracy Is At Risk Within The Commonwealth

It is in Australia AND Canada at the moment. Part 2-Perversion of Justice.

On behalf of the millions of Canadians like myself who did not vote Liberal, we apologize to the world for having inflicted you with him too. It is our national embarassment and we assure you this will be rectified in October. Only too late did many of those that did vote for him realize that Little Potato actually has the IQ of a little potato.

Perversion of Justice

Unlike previous Liberal scandals, this one should send a chill down every Canadian spine.


Vice-Admiral Mark Norman leaves court with his lawyer Marie Henein following a hearing in Ottawa, Tuesday September 4, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

As the SNC Lavalin affair dominated the news in Canada, another scandal has been brewing for month’s in the form of the prosecution of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman. Second to the Chief of Defense Staff, Norman was charged with breach of trust, the allegation being he leaked cabinet information.

At issue was the Trudeau government’s decision to cancel the procurement of a supply vessel for the navy, Norman’s alleges leaking of document’s to the media pertaining to a November 2015 meeting where it was decided that the project would be put on hold. The leak would anger the cabinet, prompting them to call for an RCMP investigation.

I won’t go further into the details of the matter, since it isn’t the details I am concerned about, so much as the actions of the PMO. Admiral Norman’s defense attorney is filing an abuse of power motion, and key to this are the records of the troika who run the government, Justin Trudeau, Gerald Butts, and Katie Telford, Trudeau’s Chief of Staff.

Miscalculating the blow-back.

The team had a small problem with their plan however. They seriously misjudged how Canadians would react. They were expecting that the process would drain Admiral Norman of resources, and that eventually he would have to take a plea deal.

He had hired high-profile lawyer Marie Henein, and his legal bills soon reached half a million dollars. A Go-Fund me campaign was started to raise money for his defense, and before long it had swelled to the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Many of the contributions were made by current or former members of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Shortly thereafter, the Crown dropped all charges against him.

As the details of these scandals begin to see the light of day, something becomes clear. The Justin Trudeau Liberal’s will be remembered for their attempts to obstruct or otherwise pervert justice, not for their climate action bullshit. Unlike the scandals of Liberal government’s in the past, the ramifications of this one affect every Canadian, and it this needs to be pointed out.

LavScam a Different Kind of Scandal Than AdScam


The Gomery report detailed the existence of an ‘elaborate kickback scheme’ to funnel money to the Liberal Party’s Montreal headquarters. Jacques Corriveau, a close friend to Jean Chrétien, has been charged with fraud in connection with the case. (Canadian Press/CBC)

The Sponsorship Scandal was typical of those we tend to see in politics, involving money, graft, kickbacks, the type of things that tend to come to mind when the words “political scandal” are said. Influence peddling and other similar types of corruption usually involve a small number of people, and typically, financial transactions have taken place.

As a rule, these types of crimes don’t have a direct effect on the rights of the average Canadian. It’s possible that some constituents in some areas may be affected on an economic level, but by and large, their rights under the law are not affected.

Now they’ve gone too far.

By showing that they are willing to obstruct and pervert justice. the Trudeau Gang have shown that they are willing to deprive anyone of their legal rights, while breaking the law as they see fit. This isn’t a financial scandal, this one’s ideological, and it shows just how far Justin Trudeau is willing to go to get what he wants.

Katie Telford and Gerald Butts. The brains of the outfit.
The dim-witted boob they foolishly chose to execute their plan.

The Slippery Slope

If the PMO is willing to interfere in the administration of justice in these matters, what would stop them from doing the very same thing in other matters of their interest? And what would be stopping them from putting the screws to any average Canadian whose views were opposed to theirs. Although people cannot be arrested and prosecuted for their beliefs, how much of a stretch would it be for the PMO to go so far as to manufacture criminal charges? They’ve already proven they are willing to break the law so it’s not unreasonable to believe that this scenario could play out.

That you, or any of your family or friends could end up in prison for opposing an ideology is something that could only have happened in Cuba, or China, or any of the other regimes that Justin Trudeau admires. Gerry Butts may not be an employee any more, but he still writes the play-book, and it reads like a Kafka novel.

One and Done

Justin Trudeau can no longer be oblivious to the fact that he has a major problem, and his performance in Toronto is proof. Whether he was high or on the verge of a nervous breakdown, he was obviously different to many observers and pundits. Whether removed from within, or at the polls, he will not see another Christmas in the Prime Minister’s office.

The scandal has made news around the globe, getting coverage from the BBC, The New York Times, and even Russia Today. Those who once thought that Justin Trudeau was the model of a modern and enlightened leader, will now have to find another vacuous shill to take his place.

What’s important is that Canadian’s do the right thing in October, and unseat the Liberal’s. There’s now a lot more at stake than we first realized.

DB

Is Democracy At Risk Within The Commonwealth?

It is in Australia AND Canada at the moment. Part 1-Quebec’s Culture of Corruption

In my article titled “The Aussie Files: Scandal of Criminal Proportions”, I made mention of the fact that the Canadian government was also acting illegally and attempting to subvert democracy.

For those of you reading this outside of Canada, these next two articles will explain exactly how Justin Trudeau and his minions in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), have attempted to obstruct justice. Along the way they decided which laws they would choose to follow and which ones they wouldn’t, depending upon who wrote them.

The SNC Lavalin scandal I mention at the beginning of the article involves a number of company officials who were brought up on corruption charges. If found guilty, it would be banned from bidding on lucrative government contracts for 10 years.

Officials within the PMO approached then Attorney General of Canada and Minister of Justice, Jodi Wilson-Raybould, telling her that the federal prosecutor was refusing to negotiate a deal with SNC Lavalin, based on a newly minted remediation agreement regime. The regime had been passed into law by the previous Conservative government. Officials wanted her to tell the federal prosecutor to make a deal.

The reason, ostensibly, was that if SNCL lost the case, they would pack up and leave Quebec for Europe, along with 5,000 jobs. This was disingenuous, since the workers would simply be absorbed back into the labor force with other companies.

This brings me to another hotbutton issue in Canadian politics right now, that being the re-emergence of a Western Seperatist movement. Canada is very much a country of regions. These are B.C., Western Canada (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba), Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritime provinces (New Brunswick. Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfounland & Labrador).

To make this as short as possible, the western provinces, in particular Alberta, feel taken advantage of by the other provinces, in particular Quebec. You see, Alberta has oil and gas, which contributes greatly to the overall Canadian economy.

Canada’s scheme of equalization and transfer payments has seen over $150 BILLION of Alberta tax money go to Quebec since it began.

Right now the Alberta economy still has not recovered from the 2014 oil crash, and there are 250,000 unemployed Albertan’s. This has been the last straw for many, as seperatist voices last heard under Justin’s father, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, rise up once again. For a more detailed analysis, go to the articles Grounds for Seperation Parts 1 and 2

After repeatedly refusing to bow to pressure, she was removed from her position in a cabinet shuffle, and would ultimately leave caucus. Her appearance at a hearing of the House of Commons justice committee would leave Canadians transfixed.

It is from this point that Justin Trudeau’s fate was sealed and his popularity would begin to drop like a stone.

https://globalnews.ca/news/5006450/jody-wilson-raybould-testimony-transcript/

Quebec’s Culture of Corruption

Corruption is just a part of life in Quebec, and Alberta tax dollars are helping to fund it.

Quebec: The most corrupt province


As the SNC Lavalin scandal gains momentum and threatens to bring down Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government, word emerges of another potential scandal brewing in Quebec, this time involving Bombardier, another darling of la belle province. Bombardier and the Liberal’s have had ties for years, and they have been the beneficiary of many a government hand-out, so this really comes as no surprise.

In fact, that Quebec is rife with corruption comes as a surprise to nobody. It seems to be ingrained into the culture, at least politically, and it has been in the news in Canada for decades, with the ’76 Olympics in Montreal being perhaps the ultimate testament to corruption, with Olympic Stadium being the billion dollar center piece.

I’ve pored over the vast repository of information that is available to me, and have put together this brief look at politics and corruption in the province of Quebec.

First, the SNC Lavalin story.

The company at the center of the current political firestorm in Ottawa traces it’s roots back to 1911, when the appropriately named Arthur Surveyer founded the engineering firm Surveyer, Nenniger & Chenevert in Montreal (SNC). 25 years later engineers Jean-Paul Lalonde and Romeo Valois form the firm Lavalin, merging in 1991 to become SNC Lavalin.

SNC’s international experience dates back to 1963, while Lavalin began the massive James Bay hydroelectric dam project in 1974. The combined company would go on to acquire contracts for major projects around the globe in the 1990’s and by 2018, had claimed it’s place as the largest construction company in Canada. It had 50,000 employees worldwide, offices in 50 countries, and operations in more than 160.

Saadi Gadaffi, progeny of a despot, failed soccer player, and known reprobate.

Libya

By the year 2000, SNC Lavalin had been doing business in Libya for a number of years. One of their most important partners in Libya was Saadi Gadaffi. son of strongman Muammar Gadaffi, and the head of his father’s special forces. Saadi was typical of the sons of other despots in the region, more playboy than aspiring leader of a nation. Rather than focusing on much needed development projects for his country, he envisioned creating a “new Hong Kong” in Libya, and it became well known that when going to a meeting with Saadi, you brought cash.

In 2008, SNC Lavalin invited Saadi to move to Canada, who would go on to live in Montreal and Toronto. For Saadi, it was an opportunity to improve his english, as well as to network with political and business leaders, while learning the intricacies of doing business in North America.

SNCL would hire private security firm Garda to provide protection for their guest, and four contractors were hired for the job. It would be up to the security detail to pay for all of Saadi’s expenses, illicit and otherwise. These would in turn be invoiced back to SNCL, who would report the expenses as being related to business in Libya. Nearly $2 million in such expenses were reported, as has been revealed in the past week.

Calgary Nose Hill MP Michelle Rempel informs parliament of her discovery that SNC Lavalin procured prostitutes for Saadi Gadaffi.

In early 2011, the Arab Spring had made its way to Libya, and SNCL projects across the country would come to a sudden halt amid the violence and political uncertainty. Saadi had managed to flee the country and in November of that year, Mexican authorities broke up a bid to smuggle him into the country. A consultant hired by SNCL and the VP/Controller were arrested and charged in Mexico. Saadi would make his way to Niger, where he received asylum, but was eventually extradited back to Libya to face murder charges, though a court acquitted him of the charges in 2018.

2012 would bring more bad news when, in February, two former SNCL executives were arrested in Canada in relation to alleged corruption at a project in Bangladesh that the World Bank was underwriting. The following month, CEO Pierre Duhaime resigned in disgrace after an internal audit revealed that $56 million in payments had been made to agents in contravention of the company’s policies.

In April, another former executive was arrested in Switzerland on corruption charges relating to a projects in North Africa, and in Canada, SNCL headquarters was the subject of an RCMP search relating to corruption involving high-ranking Tunisian officials between 2001 and 2010.

In November, Duhaime was arrested, when charges of fraud, conspiracy, and using forged documents, in relation to SNCL’s contract to build Montreal’s super-hospital, which it had won in 2010. SNCL’s bad year would end with December seeing accusations against another former executive, relating to the Bangladesh project.

Less than a week ago, on February 1st, Duhaime plead guilty to a single charge of breach of trust, avoiding jail time for what some have said is the biggest fraud in Canadian history.


Former SNC-Lavalin CEO Pierre Duhaime leaves a Montreal courtroom on Friday, after pleaded guilty to a charge of helping a public servant commit breach of trust for his role in the MUHC superhospital bribe scandal. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

In March of 2013, the Charbonneau Commission, tasked with examining corruption in Quebec’s construction industry, had been sitting for nearly two years. Yves Cadotte, VP of SNCL, would testify before the commission telling of collusion with other firms in order to secure contracts in Montreal, as well as details of illegal payments to political parties. In April, the World Bank and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) barred SNCL from bidding on contracts for 10 years.

Organized Crime in Quebec

Justice France Charbonneau’s report was issued in November of 2015. After four years and at a cost of $40 million, the nearly 1,800 page report contains 60 recommendations. The commission would find that the prevalence of organized crime in Quebec, primarily in the form of the Italian mafia and the Hell’s Angels, played a major role in the corruption that was running rampant and unchecked in the construction industry.

Nicolo Rizzuto, the former boss of the Rizzuto Crime Family in Montreal, was shot dead in his Toronto home in November 2010.

Since forming in the early 1970’s under Nicolo Rizzuto, the crime family that bears his name has been operating out of Montreal. Prior to the 1970’s, corruption in Quebec doesn’t appear to have been more of a problem than it was anywhere else. But after the arrival and rise of the Rizzuto family in Quebec, things began to change drastically, as the mafia and the Hell’s Angels begin to exert their influence over Quebec’s labour unions.

Soon, they would control nearly every aspect of the industry, having influence over the awarding of lucrative contracts, and collecting concessions from unions, contractors, and suppliers. Stacks of cash were used to buy political influence, and violence and intimidation were used to keep everyone in line. Eventually, this would become the norm, and Quebec’s culture of corruption would become entrenched in society.

It seems particularly entrenched in Quebec politics, as politicians of all stripes and at all levels of government seem to behave as though that’s just the way things run. For the Liberal Party in Quebec, it is almost standard practice to engage in illegal shenanigans for political gains, to the point where they see themselves as entitled and above the law.

Alberta Tax Dollars in the Pockets of Mobsters

If this were strictly a Quebec or a Montreal problem, it wouldn’t even appear on the radar, but it isn’t. Over the years billions of dollars in tax revenue has left Alberta in the form of transfer payments, the majority going to Quebec. The likelihood that at least some of that money made its way into the hands of organized crime is great. The amount of Alberta money illegally circulated in Quebec over the years has to be in the billions of dollars.

It’s bad enough that we have to give it up in the first place, but to know that it is being used to improve the lot of criminals makes it even more infuriating. Thousands of Alberta families are suffering, with many on the brink of disaster. Countless lives have been forever turned upside down, and some have even been lost as a result of the economic crisis in Alberta.

The result of all of this is evident in the news stories and polls coming out of Alberta. More and more of us see separation as the only solution to a situation that has become untenable to the point that, eventually, people will begin to rise up and willingly break the law. In Quebec, it would seem as though crime actually does pay. Maybe we need to start thinking that way in Alberta as well, because if things keep going the way they are, it might the only choice we have left if we want to survive.

DBC

A HISTORY OF SNC-LAVALIN Woods, Allan . Toronto Star ; Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]25 May 2013: IN.3.

Grounds For Separation, Part 2

The Devastating Impact.

6. Unemployment Rate

In February of this year, Calgary once again reclaimed the title of Highest Canadian Metropolitan Unemployment, reaching 7.6%, edging out St. John’s, Nfld where the rate remained a steady 7.4%.

It spent most of 2016 and part of 2017 on top of this list before it got a reprieve, but it would top the list again early in 2019. The unemployment rate in Calgary rose and fell in a gentle slope on a line chart. It covers the period of time that most people would have been eligible for unemployment benefits. The fact that the rate fell by no means that those unemployed found work, it only means that their benefits have run out and they are no longer technically “unemployed” for statistical purposes.

By all accounts there are over 200,000 unemployed in Alberta at this moment. Many of them worked in or relied on the energy industry for employment. Based on anecdotal evidence there is a very large population of unemployed geologists and land men in Alberta right now. These were good paying professional jobs, and now many of these geologists have no more savings, the unemployment ran out years ago, had to sell their homes and vehicles, and are now on the verge of economic ruin. Men who previously made $100,000 a year are now begging to flip burgers for $15/hr.

Many energy companies now no longer operate in Alberta due to the fact that it is no longer feasible for them to do so. Policies put in place by the provincial and federal governments have scared off investment in Alberta, leading to the increase in unemployment in the energy sector.

7. Bankruptcies

Between 2014 and 2018 the number of personal bankruptcies and consumer proposals in Alberta jumped an incredible 76%, going from 8,281 in 2014 to 14, 555 in 2018. Comparatively, the national rate rose by a mere 5.8%.

Alberta business bankruptcies during the same period rose by 46% going from 141 in 2014 to 206 in 2018, while nationally the amount actually decreased by 15% going from 4,219 in 2014 to 3,580 in 2018.

http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/bsf-osb.nsf/eng/h_br01011.html

8. Income Support

In Alberta, the Income Support program provides assistance to low-income individuals and families. Child and health care, subsidies, and income assistance are among the services available. Households are categorized according to group: Single, Single with One or More Children, Couples, and Couples with One or More Children.

These are then further categorized by;Expected to Work(ETW):Unemployed and Able to Work, Unemployed and Unable to Work (ie. due to Illness, caring for family, etc.) and, Barriers to Full Employment(BFE) in which recipients are unable to work due to chronic long-term illness. The amount of benefits available depends upon marital status, number of dependants (if any), and, level of ability to work.

Starting in the year 2014, I measured the number of households receiving income support benefits in the month of July, until the current year where I measured the month of January.

A massive increase.

In July of 2014 there were a total of 33,522 households receiving assistance. By January of this year that number had nearly doubled to 59,940.

The number of people who were not working but were available to work skyrocketed from 5,820 in 2014 to 21,745 in 2019, more than three times what it was four and a half years before. Those unavailable to work rose by 50% going from 7,979 in 2014 to 12, 338 in 2019.

The segment of the population hardest hit has been single people. In 2014, of the 33, 522 households on benefits, 22, 037 were single individuals or 66%. In January they accounted for 69% of the 59,940 households collecting benefits. This would be an increase of 79% over 2014.

9. Crime

During periods of economic instability, crime rates tend to increase. This is no more evident than in Calgary, where crime rates soared in 2015 following the collapse in oil prices. In the years that followed, although the rates have stabilized, they remain high and show no signs that they will be coming down.

Crimes across virtually every category rose sharply in 2015. Naturally there were significant increases in “the usual suspects”, Property Crimes, Theft, Robbery, and Domestic Violence. There has also been an alarming increase in the number of violent crimes as well, especially in the number of assaults. There has also been a disturbing increase in the number of assaults on police officers.

They are categorized as 1) Social Disorder, 2) Property Crime (Theft, B&E, Robbery, Vehicle Theft, Fraud) and, 3) Person Crime (Assault, Domestic Assault, and Sex Offenses.

I will be providing more details in another post addressing Calgary crime statistics.

9.1 Social Disorder 2014 – 2018

Social Disorder calls are the ones police respond to the most in a typical day. They include such things as: Drunk, Disturbance, Indecent Act, Juvenile Complaint, Landlord/tenant, Mental health concern, Neighbor dispute, Party complaint, Prowler, Suspicious person, Threats, Drugs, Noise complaint, Possible gunshots, Unwanted guest/patron, Prostitution, Speeder, Suspicious Auto (grouped as Social Disorder), Fire, Property damage and Abandoned auto (grouped as Physical Disorder). 

Defying my expectations, the number of Social Disorder calls fell for the first time in nearly five years. It wasn’t alot, roughly one percent, but at least it is moving in the right direction. Among the complaints seeing the most significant deceases year over year were:

  • Disturbance – 348 (8.8%)
  • Drugs -104 (13.2%)
  • Intoxicated Persons -128 (13.7%)
  • Landlord/Tenant Issue -70 (7.6%)
  • Noise Complaint -115 (9.3%)
  • Party Complaint -56 (13.2%)
  • Speeder -33 (13.2%)
  • Suspicious Vehicle -412 (10.8%)
  • TOTAL SOCIAL DISORDER: -910 (1%)

9.2 Property Crimes: B&E, Theft, Vehicle Theft 2014-18

There was a large spike in property crimes in 2015 as unemployment began to rise. The increase in drug use, especially crystal meth, has contributed to them remaining at high levels, placing further strain on police resources.

Between 2014 and 2018: Break & Enters rose 68.7% (3,994), Thefts increased 50% (9,903), and Vehicle thefts were up by 44.5% (2,131).

9.3 Person Crimes: Robbery, Assaults, and Sex Offenses 2014-18

Crimes against people didn’t see the dramatic increases in 2015 as property crimes did. There has however been a steady increase in the number of these crimes, especially the number of assaults and sex offenses.

Between 2014 and 2018 the total number of Assaults rose by 51% (3,037) while Sex Offenses were up by 63% (490). Among assaults, the number of assaults against police is seeing a dramatic increase, up 79% (150).

In 2018 Sex Offenses were up by a dramatic 63% over 2014 (+490).

10. Suicides

Sadly, the spike in the number of suicides in Alberta in 2015 was also to be expected, as the number of people who took their own lives rose by 22% over the previous year. The biggest increases occurred in 5 age groups: 25-29, 40-44, 45-49, 55-59, and 65-69.

A similar statistic is seen in Saskatchewan at the same time. Information from the Government of Saskatchewan shows that suicides rose by 27% in 2015 over 2014. Most significantly, the number of men rose by 43% year over year. This trend was not seen on other provinces, however there were other trends evident in other provinces, and at different times.

The suicide rate in Alberta, and likely everywhere else, is not a true representation of the number of suicides. I can say this with certainty because recently somebody I knew committed suicide, and their death was ruled an overdose. Had a complete death investigation done I’m confident the correct determination would have been made, but such investigations cost money and often aren’t done. Many suicide deaths are wrongly attributed to overdose, accident, or misadventure.

https://www.suicideinfo.ca/resource/alberta-suicide-stats-region-age/

Conclusion

The human impact of the economic crisis in Alberta has been immense. With over 200,000 unemployed, many for an extended duration, it is critical that steps be taken immediately to create an environment that will attract investment

Although Jason Kenney will do what he can to salvage the Alberta economy and get it moving forward again, the biggest impediment to a Alberta’s success is and will always be lack of pipeline access to a deep-water port. By opening up these markets, Alberta will ensure that it, and Canada, will receive the maximum benefit from Alberta’s resources.

Alberta’s fate is being left up to others to determine, and this has proven to be as disastrous in the past as it is now. The only way to end this is to either make some serious changes to the equaliztion formula (highly unlikely), or for Alberta to separate and control its own destiny (the best option).

The people of Alberta deserve better.

D.B.

Grounds For Separation

Alberta has ample grounds to walk away.

I started this blog back in January with the post “The Last Good Day”. It was intended to provide a thorough and comprehensive statistical view of life in Alberta, with an emphasis on Calgary.

In order to provide the best overall picture of the situation, I have chosen the statistics and information rerlating to a number of areas including:

  • Population
  • Federal Payments to Provinces
  • Oil Prices
  • Alberta Government Revenues
  • Downtown Calgary Office Space Vacancy
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Personal and Corporate Bankruptcies
  • Provincial Income Support Levels
  • Crime Rate in Calgary
  • Suicide Rate in Alberta

While these numbers may come as a shock to some, others simply will not care, engaging in schadenfreude at Alberta’s expense. For others nothing short of the complete destruction of Alberta would satisfy them.

This message isn’t for them. It’s for anyone who wonders why we in Alberta feel the way we do. This is why we are angry and so many of us are ready to break from Confederation. We have plenty of good reasons to want a better deal and if one isn’t forthcoming then the only alternative is to strike out on our own.

A joint effort.

To be fair, what has happened in Alberta isn’t solely Justin’s fault. Regressive job-killing policies and taxes on the part of former Premier Rachel Notley and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi have also contributed to the ruination of Canada’s former economic engine.

With Jason Kenney now at the helm in Alberta things will slowly atart to improve, but if justin Trudeau somehow manages to win in October, any hope of recovery will be ruined.

I told you what was going to happen.

Back in January I warned that if something didn’t happen to help the Alberta economy, and soon, the effects would soon be felt throughout the Canadian economy.

The latest economic numbers seem to be bearing this out, and soon, the numbers that are being seen in Alberta will be seen across the country. If Justin Trudeau and the rest of the Worst Canadian Government Of All Time aren’t voted out of office in October, Canada will become an economic basket-case.

1. Population

For reasons that confound me, more people continue to come to this province than leave it. All this is managing to do is add more stress to a system that is already strained. With continuing high unemployment, unless these people have jobs to come to Alberta for they will only be a drain on the social system.

Link to Q3 Alberta Population Report:

Click to access 2018-q3-population-report.pdf

2. Federal Payments to Provinces

Equalization and Transfer Payments

Major Federal Transfers

The Government of Canada provides significant financial support to provincial and territorial governments on an ongoing basis to assist them in the provision of programs and services. There are four main transfer programs: the Canada Health Transfer (CHT), the Canada Social Transfer (CST), Equalization and Territorial Formula Financing (TFF).

The CHT and CST are federal transfers which support specific policy areas such as health care, post-secondary education, social assistance and social services, early childhood development and child care.

The Equalization and TFF programs provide unconditional transfers to the provinces and territories. Equalization enables less prosperous provincial governments to provide their residents with public services that are reasonably comparable to those in other provinces, at reasonably comparable levels of taxation. TFF provides territorial governments with funding to support public services, in recognition of the higher cost of providing programs and services in the north.

https://www.fin.gc.ca/access/fedprov-eng.asp

Equalization and Total Federal Payments Charts 2012-2020

Ontario goes from receiving 21% of Equalization funding in 2012/13 and by 2019/20 that number would dwindle to 0%. Quebec would pick up Ontario’s share however as it goes from receiving 48% in 2012/13 to 66% in 2019/20

The total amount of federal support going to the provinces remains at a constant rate from year to year. What changes is the amount being distributed. In 2012/13 those payments totaled nearly $57 billion and have risen to over $78 billion in 2019/20, an increase of 72%.

3. The Price of Oil

The closing prices on May 6, 2019. WCS $49(US)/bbl. WTI $58.70(US)/bbl. A price spread of $9.70(US).


The benchmarks off of which our oil is priced are West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Western Canadian Select (WCS). WCS is the grade of crude produced by the oil sands. It is heavier, and not as easy to transport as the light and medium grades of crude oil, such as WTI, therefore goes for a lower price. The difference in price between WTI and WCS is called the “spread”.

The price difference can also be attributed to other factors, such as supply and demand. The price of WCS plummeted in relation to WTI in November of this year, and the spread hit an all-time high of $55(US)/bbl as inventory levels reached capacity. Over time, the lack of pipeline capacity has resulted in an over-supply of WCS, translating into a lower price.

There has been slightly less volatilty in the price since measures were put in place to reduce inventory levels, however the province is still losing hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue due to the lack of a pipeline to a deep water port.

4. Alberta Government Revenues 2013/14-2017/18

Fiscal 2015/16 saw a huge drop in resource revenue for the Province of Alberta, falling by 50% over 2014/15. Bitumen royalties fell from $5.04 Billion in 2014/15 to $1.22 Billion the following year. Crude oil royalties plummeted from over $2.2 Billion to under $700 Million and natural gas royalties fell from $989 Million to $493 Million. This would also translate into lower income tax revenue for the province.

While the amount of personal income tax collected fell slightly between 2014/15 and 2017/18, the amount of corporate income tax collected fell by over 40% over the period. The amount of fuel taxes rose by over 45% in 2015/16, due in large part to an increase in the provincial fuel tax in 2015.

The “sin taxes” collected also seem to tell a story. Albertans gambled less after 2015/16, drank more between 2013 and 2018, and seemed to be smoking about the same amount of tobacco. After realizing a budget surplus of $1.1 Billion in 2014/15, the Government of Alberta ran budget deficits totalling $25.1 Billion between 2015/16 and 2017/18. The forecast for 2018/19 is for a deficit of $7.5 Billion.

The one thing Alberta does have going for it right now is that Jason Kenney can set about making things right again, but we still don’t know the true extent of the damage the Notley regime did to the provincial finances. In any event, it’s going to take time.

The increase in fuel tax revenue was due to an increase in the tax rate by the Notley government.

5. Downtown Calgary Office Space

In Q1 of 2014 there was over 40 million square feet of downtown Calgary office space with a vacancy rate of 8.13%. The average rent for class “A” office space was $34 per square foot. In Q1 of 2018 there was close to 44 million square of downtown Calgary office space and the vacancy rate had jumped to over 27%.

The average rent for class “A” office space was down to $14 per square foot. Assuming the same vacancy rate and price per square foot over this period, this translates into a loss of $2 Billion in rental income, and a report released in March suggests the city has lost $250 million in tax revenue as a result of the decline in non-residential property values.


To Be Continued In Grounds for Separation, Part 2

The human impact of the crisis in Alberta with a look at unemployment, bankruptcies, income support, crime, and suicide. See the toll the last 5 years has taken.

An Open Letter to the People and Government of Canada

Derek Bodner

Calgary, Alberta

T3C 1Z9

Loftner1969@gmail.com

March 13, 2019

An Open Letter To:

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P., Prime Minister of Canada, Ottawa

The Honourable David Lametti, P.C., M.P., Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Ottawa

The Honourable Lawrence MacAuley, P.C., M.P., Minister of Veteran’s Affairs, Ottawa

The Honourable Harjit Sajjan, P.C., M.P., Minister of Defense, Ottawa

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, P.C., M.P., Minister of Health, Ottawa

The Right Honourable Richard Wagner, P.C., Chief Justice of Canada, Supreme Court of Canada, Ottawa

The People of Canada

My name is Derek Bodner, and I am writing this letter as a private citizen, residing in the city of Calgary, in the province of Alberta.

I am writing this letter to appeal to the Government of Canada to reconvene the Somalia Commission of Inquiry which was adjourned in 1997 with the final report issued in July of that year.

In the years since then however, a great deal of information has come to light regarding the anti-malarial drug mefloquine and its adverse effects. This evidence, had it been known at the time, would be exculpatory in a court of law, and at the very least would be sufficient to justify a re-trial if used as the basis of an appeal.

The problem here is that, unlike the court process, there is no mechanism for appeal or redress in a public inquiry. There is no means of introducing new evidence, no way of having another body independently assess the merits of the case, and no possibility for individuals or entities to rehabilitate reputations that may have suffered wrongly as a result of the decisions mad by the public inquiry.

In remarks to the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice at their annual conference on October 10, 2007, Mr. Justice Dennis O’Connor, then Associate Chief Justice of the Ontario Court of Appeal said:

The theme of this conference is “Doing Justice: Dispute Resolution in the Courts and Beyond,” and I am here to talk today about public inquiries.  In Canada , public inquiries have played an important role in the delivery of justice, broadly defined.   In this broader definition of delivering justice to the community, there is a spectrum of approaches.  At the one, very familiar end, is the traditional trial, which is designed to determine what happened, and what ought to be done about it, in a very specific context – the Crown vs. the accused, plaintiff vs. defendant.  Generally, courts are good at answering the limited questions posed in individual trials, through a transparent process that depends on fair and full procedural safeguards, a fair decision-maker, and an open court. 

At the other end are alternative models of justice which this conference will examine – private courts, arbitration, mediation, faith-based dispute resolution, and so on.  These models represent in part a triumph of choice – parties selecting their decision-maker, and designing models of decision-making appropriate to the circumstances, which may include efficiency, cost, responsiveness and specific expertise.  Legitimacy does not flow from publicity, but from the concept of choice of procedures to meet the needs of parties.

If justice is to be truly served, then I would ask that the government reconvene the Somalia Commission of Inquiry. This matter is not over, and the people whose lives have been turned upside down because of it deserve to have their chance to testify, and to seek the justice that up until now has been denied them.

In Canada, and in countries around the globe, the number of veterans and active duty soldiers who are experiencing debilitating psychiatric issues as a result of taking mefloquine, is growing, and soon the matter will be litigated in those countries legal systems.

Although the government is not compelled to do so under the letter of the law, it must also abide by the spirit of the law, which I believe compels the government to act accordingly.

Sincerely,

Derek Bodner

Quebec’s Culture of Corruption

Corruption is just a part of life in Quebec, and Alberta tax dollars are helping to fund it.

Quebec: The most corrupt province


As the SNC Lavalin scandal gains momentum and threatens to bring down Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government, word emerges of another potential scandal brewing in Quebec, this time involving Bombardier, another darling of la belle province. Bombardier and the Liberal’s have had ties for years, and they have been the beneficiary of many a government hand-out, so this really comes as no surprise.

In fact, that Quebec is rife with corruption comes as a surprise to nobody. It seems to be ingrained into the culture, at least politically, and it has been in the news in Canada for decades, with the ’76 Olympics in Montreal being perhaps the ultimate testament to corruption, with Olympic Stadium being the billion dollar center piece.

I’ve pored over the vast repository of information that is available to me, and have put together this brief look at politics and corruption in the province of Quebec.

First, the SNC Lavalin story.

The company at the center of the current political firestorm in Ottawa traces it’s roots back to 1911, when the appropriately named Arthur Surveyer founded the engineering firm Surveyer, Nenniger & Chenevert in Montreal (SNC). 25 years later engineers Jean-Paul Lalonde and Romeo Valois form the firm Lavalin, merging in 1991 to become SNC Lavalin.

SNC’s international experience dates back to 1963, while Lavalin began the massive James Bay hydroelectric dam project in 1974. The combined company would go on to acquire contracts for major projects around the globe in the 1990’s and by 2018, had claimed it’s place as the largest construction company in Canada. It had 50,000 employees worldwide, offices in 50 countries, and operations in more than 160.

Saadi Gadaffi, progeny of a despot, failed soccer player, and known reprobate.

Libya

By the year 2000, SNC Lavalin had been doing business in Libya for a number of years. One of their most important partners in Libya was Saadi Gadaffi. son of strongman Muammar Gadaffi, and the head of his father’s special forces. Saadi was typical of the sons of other despots in the region, more playboy than aspiring leader of a nation. Rather than focusing on much needed development projects for his country, he envisioned creating a “new Hong Kong” in Libya, and it became well known that when going to a meeting with Saadi, you brought cash.

In 2008, SNC Lavalin invited Saadi to move to Canada, who would go on to live in Montreal and Toronto. For Saadi, it was an opportunity to improve his english, as well as to network with political and business leaders, while learning the intricacies of doing business in North America.

SNCL would hire private security firm Garda to provide protection for their guest, and four contractors were hired for the job. It would be up to the security detail to pay for all of Saadi’s expenses, illicit and otherwise. These would in turn be invoiced back to SNCL, who would report the expenses as being related to business in Libya. Nearly $2 million in such expenses were reported, as has been revealed in the past week.

Calgary Nose Hill MP Michelle Rempel informs parliament of her discovery that SNC Lavalin procured prostitutes for Saadi Gadaffi.

In early 2011, the Arab Spring had made its way to Libya, and SNCL projects across the country would come to a sudden halt amid the violence and political uncertainty. Saadi had managed to flee the country and in November of that year, Mexican authorities broke up a bid to smuggle him into the country. A consultant hired by SNCL and the VP/Controller were arrested and charged in Mexico. Saadi would make his way to Niger, where he received asylum, but was eventually extradited back to Libya to face murder charges, though a court acquitted him of the charges in 2018.

2012 would bring more bad news when, in February, two former SNCL executives were arrested in Canada in relation to alleged corruption at a project in Bangladesh that the World Bank was underwriting. The following month, CEO Pierre Duhaime resigned in disgrace after an internal audit revealed that $56 million in payments had been made to agents in contravention of the company’s policies.

In April, another former executive was arrested in Switzerland on corruption charges relating to a projects in North Africa, and in Canada, SNCL headquarters was the subject of an RCMP search relating to corruption involving high-ranking Tunisian officials between 2001 and 2010.

In November, Duhaime was arrested, when charges of fraud, conspiracy, and using forged documents, in relation to SNCL’s contract to build Montreal’s super-hospital, which it had won in 2010. SNCL’s bad year would end with December seeing accusations against another former executive, relating to the Bangladesh project.

Less than a week ago, on February 1st, Duhaime plead guilty to a single charge of breach of trust, avoiding jail time for what some have said is the biggest fraud in Canadian history.


Former SNC-Lavalin CEO Pierre Duhaime leaves a Montreal courtroom on Friday, after pleaded guilty to a charge of helping a public servant commit breach of trust for his role in the MUHC superhospital bribe scandal. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

In March of 2013, the Charbonneau Commission, tasked with examining corruption in Quebec’s construction industry, had been sitting for nearly two years. Yves Cadotte, VP of SNCL, would testify before the commission telling of collusion with other firms in order to secure contracts in Montreal, as well as details of illegal payments to political parties. In April, the World Bank and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) barred SNCL from bidding on contracts for 10 years.

Organized Crime in Quebec

Justice France Charbonneau’s report was issued in November of 2015. After four years and at a cost of $40 million, the nearly 1,800 page report contains 60 recommendations. The commission would find that the prevalence of organized crime in Quebec, primarily in the form of the Italian mafia and the Hell’s Angels, played a major role in the corruption that was running rampant and unchecked in the construction industry.

Nicolo Rizzuto, the former boss of the Rizzuto Crime Family in Montreal, was shot dead in his Toronto home in November 2010.

Since forming in the early 1970’s under Nicolo Rizzuto, the crime family that bears his name has been operating out of Montreal. Prior to the 1970’s, corruption in Quebec doesn’t appear to have been more of a problem than it was anywhere else. But after the arrival and rise of the Rizzuto family in Quebec, things began to change drastically, as the mafia and the Hell’s Angels begin to exert their influence over Quebec’s labour unions.

Soon, they would control nearly every aspect of the industry, having influence over the awarding of lucrative contracts, and collecting concessions from unions, contractors, and suppliers. Stacks of cash were used to buy political influence, and violence and intimidation were used to keep everyone in line. Eventually, this would become the norm, and Quebec’s culture of corruption would become entrenched in society.

It seems particularly entrenched in Quebec politics, as politicians of all stripes and at all levels of government seem to behave as though that’s just the way things run. For the Liberal Party in Quebec, it is almost standard practice to engage in illegal shenanigans for political gains, to the point where they see themselves as entitled and above the law.

Alberta Tax Dollars in the Pockets of Mobsters

If this were strictly a Quebec or a Montreal problem, it wouldn’t even appear on the radar, but it isn’t. Over the years billions of dollars in tax revenue has left Alberta in the form of transfer payments, the majority going to Quebec. The likelihood that at least some of that money made its way into the hands of organized crime is great. The amount of Alberta money illegally circulated in Quebec over the years has to be in the billions of dollars.

It’s bad enough that we have to give it up in the first place, but to know that it is being used to improve the lot of criminals makes it even more infuriating. Thousands of Alberta families are suffering, with many on the brink of disaster. Countless lives have been forever turned upside down, and some have even been lost as a result of the economic crisis in Alberta.

The result of all of this is evident in the news stories and polls coming out of Alberta. More and more of us see separation as the only solution to a situation that has become untenable to the point that, eventually, people will begin to rise up and willingly break the law. In Quebec, it would seem as though crime actually does pay. Maybe we need to start thinking that way in Alberta as well, because if things keep going the way they are, it might the only choice we have left if we want to survive.

DBC

A HISTORY OF SNC-LAVALIN Woods, Allan . Toronto Star ; Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]25 May 2013: IN.3.

Perversion of Justice

Unlike previous Liberal scandals, this one should send a chill down every Canadian spine.


Vice-Admiral Mark Norman leaves court with his lawyer Marie Henein following a hearing in Ottawa, Tuesday September 4, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

As the SNC Lavalin affair dominated the news in Canada, another scandal has been brewing for month’s in the form of the prosecution of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman. Second to the Chief of Defense Staff, Norman was charged with breach of trust, the allegation being he leaked cabinet information.

At issue was the Trudeau government’s decision to cancel the procurement of a supply vessel for the navy, Norman’s alleges leaking of document’s to the media pertaining to a November 2015 meeting where it was decided that the project would be put on hold. The leak would anger the cabinet, prompting them to call for an RCMP investigation.

I won’t go further into the details of the matter, since it isn’t the details I am concerned about, so much as the actions of the PMO. Admiral Norman’s defense attorney is filing an abuse of power motion, and key to this are the records of the troika who run the government, Justin Trudeau, Gerald Butts, and Katie Telford, Trudeau’s Chief of Staff.

As the details of these scandals begin to see the light of day, something becomes clear. The Justin Trudeau Liberal’s will be remembered for their attempts to obstruct or otherwise pervert justice. Unlike the scandals of Liberal government’s in the past, the ramifications of this one affect every Canadian, and it this needs to be pointed out.

LavScam a Different Kind of Scandal Than AdScam


The Gomery report detailed the existence of an ‘elaborate kickback scheme’ to funnel money to the Liberal Party’s Montreal headquarters. Jacques Corriveau, a close friend to Jean Chrétien, has been charged with fraud in connection with the case. (Canadian Press/CBC)

The Sponsorship Scandal was typical of those we tend to see in politics, involving money, graft, kickbacks, the type of things that tend to come to mind when the words “political scandal” are said. Influence peddling and other similar types of corruption usually involve a small number of people, and typically, financial transactions have taken place.

As a rule, these types of crimes don’t have a direct effect on the rights of the average Canadian. It’s possible that some constituents in some areas may be affected on an economic level, but by and large, their rights under the law are not affected.

By showing that they are willing to obstruct and pervert justice. the Trudeau Gang have shown that they are willing to deprive anyone of their legal rights, while breaking the law as they see fit. This isn’t a financial scandal, this one’s ideological, and it shows just how far Justin Trudeau is willing to go to get what he wants.

Katie Telford and Gerald Butts. The brains of the outfit.
The dim-witted boob they foolishly chose to execute their plan.

The Slippery Slope

If the PMO is willing to interfere in the administration of justice in these matters, what would stop them from doing the very same thing in other matters of their interest? And what would be stopping them from putting the screws to any average Canadian whose views were opposed to theirs. Although people cannot be arrested and prosecuted for their beliefs, how much of a stretch would it be for the PMO to go so far as to manufacture criminal charges? They’ve already proven they are willing to break the law so it’s not unreasonable to believe that this scenario could play out.

That you, or any of your family or friends could end up in prison for opposing an ideology is something that could only have happened in Cuba, or China, or any of the other regimes that Justin Trudeau admires. Gerry Butts may not be an employee any more, but he still writes the play-book, and it reads like a Kafka novel.

One and Done

Justin Trudeau can no longer be oblivious to the fact that he has a major problem, and his performance in Toronto is proof. Whether he was high or on the verge of a nervous breakdown, he was obviously different to many observers and pundits. Whether removed from within, or at the polls, he will not see another Christmas in the Prime Minister’s office.

The scandal has made news around the globe, getting coverage from the BBC, The New York Times, and even Russia Today. Those who once thought that Justin Trudeau was the model of a modern and enlightened leader, will now have to find another vacuous shill to take his place.

What’s important is that Canadian’s do the right thing in October, and unseat the Liberal’s. There’s now a lot more at stake than we first realized.

DBC

Perversion of Justice

Unlike previous Liberal scandals, this one should send a chill down every Canadian spine.


Vice-Admiral Mark Norman leaves court with his lawyer Marie Henein following a hearing in Ottawa, Tuesday September 4, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

As the SNC Lavalin affair dominated the news in Canada, another scandal has been brewing for month’s in the form of the prosecution of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman. Second to the Chief of Defense Staff, Norman was charged with breach of trust, the allegation being he leaked cabinet information.

At issue was the Trudeau government’s decision to cancel the procurement of a supply vessel for the navy, Norman’s alleges leaking of document’s to the media pertaining to a November 2015 meeting where it was decided that the project would be put on hold. The leak would anger the cabinet, prompting them to call for an RCMP investigation.

I won’t go further into the details of the matter, since it isn’t the details I am concerned about, so much as the actions of the PMO. Admiral Norman’s defense attorney is filing an abuse of power motion, and key to this are the records of the troika who run the government, Justin Trudeau, Gerald Butts, and Katie Telford, Trudeau’s Chief of Staff.

As the details of these scandals begin to see the light of day, something becomes clear. The Justin Trudeau Liberal’s will be remembered for their attempts to obstruct or otherwise pervert justice. Unlike the scandals of Liberal government’s in the past, the ramifications of this one affect every Canadian, and it this needs to be pointed out.

LavScam a Different Kind of Scandal Than AdScam


The Gomery report detailed the existence of an ‘elaborate kickback scheme’ to funnel money to the Liberal Party’s Montreal headquarters. Jacques Corriveau, a close friend to Jean Chrétien, has been charged with fraud in connection with the case. (Canadian Press/CBC)

The Sponsorship Scandal was typical of those we tend to see in politics, involving money, graft, kickbacks, the type of things that tend to come to mind when the words “political scandal” are said. Influence peddling and other similar types of corruption usually involve a small number of people, and typically, financial transactions have taken place.

As a rule, these types of crimes don’t have a direct effect on the rights of the average Canadian. It’s possible that some constituents in some areas may be affected on an economic level, but by and large, their rights under the law are not affected.

By showing that they are willing to obstruct and pervert justice. the Trudeau Gang have shown that they are willing to deprive anyone of their legal rights, while breaking the law as they see fit. This isn’t a financial scandal, this one’s ideological, and it shows just how far Justin Trudeau is willing to go to get what he wants.

Katie Telford and Gerald Butts. The brains of the outfit.
The dim-witted boob they foolishly chose to execute their plan.

The Slippery Slope

If the PMO is willing to interfere in the administration of justice in these matters, what would stop them from doing the very same thing in other matters of their interest? And what would be stopping them from putting the screws to any average Canadian whose views were opposed to theirs. Although people cannot be arrested and prosecuted for their beliefs, how much of a stretch would it be for the PMO to go so far as to manufacture criminal charges? They’ve already proven they are willing to break the law so it’s not unreasonable to believe that this scenario could play out.

That you, or any of your family or friends could end up in prison for opposing an ideology is something that could only have happened in Cuba, or China, or any of the other regimes that Justin Trudeau admires. Gerry Butts may not be an employee any more, but he still writes the play-book, and it reads like a Kafka novel.

One and Done

Justin Trudeau can no longer be oblivious to the fact that he has a major problem, and his performance in Toronto is proof. Whether he was high or on the verge of a nervous breakdown, he was obviously different to many observers and pundits. Whether removed from within, or at the polls, he will not see another Christmas in the Prime Minister’s office.

The scandal has made news around the globe, getting coverage from the BBC, The New York Times, and even Russia Today. Those who once thought that Justin Trudeau was the model of a modern and enlightened leader, will now have to find another vacuous shill to take his place.

What’s important is that Canadian’s do the right thing in October, and unseat the Liberal’s. There’s now a lot more at stake than we first realized.

DBC

Stolen Honour

Disbanded regiment deserves to have its reputation rehabilitated.

By rights this issue should be classified as a scandal, with a lot more press coverage than it has received up to this point, and, it also happens to be one that is very personal to me.

I think I may have mentioned my family’s history in the military in a previous post, along with my ties to the PPCLI. My Uncle “Spike”, as he was known, was a Sergeant when he retired back in the early ’80’s, and a couple of years before he retired, he was asked (asked mind you) to join the Canadian Airborne Regiment. A one time army boxing champion, he had what it took to be a jumper. He still ran everyday in combat boots into his 50’s, switching to running shoes until he stopped running in his late 60’s.

So, when the regiment was disbanded in disgrace on September 1st, 1995, in the wake of the Somalia scandal, I felt the shock that one feels when told that a family member has died. It was as though a part of my self was somehow gone now. I couldn’t imagine there ever NOT being an Airborne Regiment.

Initially, I felt anger towards those who had committed the brutal acts that led to it. Them, the chain of command on the ground, the lot of them. These were bunch of racists whose bosses had given them free reign to terrorize the local populace, because they were too goddamn lazy or didn’t give a shit or both. Thanks to them, the Canadian Forces had a black eye, and the Canadian Airborne Regiment had ceased to exist. Way to go, assholes.

But then, some time later, mefloquine made the news, and all of a sudden, things weren’t quite so cut and dried after all. As the story began to unfold, the blame started to lift from the soldiers, and would ultimately land square in the lap of the Department of National Defense, and Swiss pharmaceutical concern Hoffman-La Roche.

Because of their actions, two Somali teenagers are dead, and the lives of some of the soldiers forever changed. A large number of veterans continue to suffer from the nightmarish side effects, and in all likelihood courts will be hearing cases for years to come in future legal actions.

The Stuff of Nightmares

Marketed under the brand name Lariam, mefloquine is an anti-malarial drug. Anti-malarial drugs have been available since the 19th century, when French scientists were able to extract quinine from the bark of the Cinchona tree, native to the Andean region of South America.

Quinine was in demand by European militaries, as colonialism made its way into tropical areas, and today, military personnel take the majority of doses of anti-malaria medications dispensed. It only makes sense that militaries would have an interest in their development, and have aided in the advancement of these medications over the years.

Big Pharma And The Military Industrial Complex

Lariam was developed by the US military near the end of the Vietnam War, as part of an effort to find an anti-malarial that was effective, economical, and safe. The first reported trials of mefloquine were done in 1975, on prisoners in the Joliette Correctional Centre in Illinois, while another was performed the following year at the Maryland House of Correction. No details of these trials can be found.

During the 1980’s, the pharmaceutical industry began lobbying the US congress in an effort to get their products to market quicker. Testing protocols were delaying the time it took to get a drug to market, and the drug companies wanted to shorten the time it took, so that they could begin earning revenue quicker.

So when the FDA approved Lariam for use in 1989, a number of critical studies relating to tolerability and interactions with other drugs had not yet been done. Within months of being released, safety concerns would begin emerging, yet the drug would remain to be the go to for the prevention of chloroquine-resistant malaria.

Start of a Scandal

The Canadian Airborne Regiment left for Somalia in December 1992, five months after then Prime Minister Brian Mulroney had committed Canadian troops for the mission. Called Operation Deliverance, it would become part of the US led Operation Restore Hope, which would ultimately fall under UN control and become UNOSOM II.

Members of the Canadian Airborne Regiment sprint into position as they arrive to assume responsibility for the airport at Bali Dogle, Somalia, on December 15, 1992. Canada is taking part in a UN relief operation in the East African country. (CP Photo/Andrew Vaughan)

The decision to send 2 Commando to Somalia had been controversial from the very beginning. The unit was known to be rife with racism, and was viewed to be the dumping ground for those with discipline issues. The CO of the regiment had been sacked for stating that the regiment was unfit for the mission, and replaced by Lt.Col. Carol Mathieu, who would lead the contingent in Somalia.

For whatever reason, the DND had made the decision the Lariam would be the anti-malarial prophylactic to be used on this deployment. Though available in the United States, Lariam was still unavailable in Canada, though it could be if it were being used in a clinical trial.

As with any clinical trial, there would be strict protocols that would have to be observed. There is a great deal of monitoring, testing, and recording involved in a clinical trial, and so knowing this, the DND made the decision to participate in the clinical trial for Lariam. Whether or not anybody bothered to look for any existing clinical data from the US is debatable, though I’m betting nobody bothered.

The Department of National Defense had absolutely no intention of doing any of what was required of it for the study, and this fact was apparent as soon as the mission started. There was no monitoring, no reporting of adverse events, no effort to even make it look like they were trying.

Worse still, the men had no idea that they were supposed to part of a drug trial. While they were told what the medication was for and what the possible side effects were, they were not given the forms to sign that would have constituted informed consent. As far as they knew, they wouldn’t have been given the medication if the government had thought it was dangerous. It’s an assumption we make all the time. They would have assumed wrong.

The Adverse Effects

It wasn’t long before some disturbing side-effects began to appear, similar to those that were reported in the United States. Anxiety, nightmares, paranoia, hallucinations, depression, and other serious symptoms began appearing.

It has been revealed in recent years that many of those serving in Somalia had exhibited these symptoms, including those involved in the incidents in question. For many, the symptoms continue to this day, years after taking the drug.

The stage was now set for a scenario straight out of a movie; a battalion of heavily armed, highly trained, potentially psychotic, racist killing machines, would be dropped into a high-stress mission in Africa. The worst-case scenario was about to play out.

The Result

In order to keep this from becoming a novel, I’ll dispense with most of the details, but feel free to do some research for yourselves online. The key points are two Somali teens, Shidane Arone and Ahmed Arush were killed, and a third, Abdi Hinde Bei Sabrie, was seriously wounded.

Master Corporal Clayton Matchee would be charged in relation to the Arone death, however he would attempt suicide by hanging himself, and would suffer permanent brain damage. Due to the extent of his injury, he will require constant care, and he no longer faces the criminal charges that were brought against him.

Trooper Kyle Brown would be found guilty of manslaughter and torture and serve a 40 month prison sentence. His life after getting out has been difficult, as he continues to suffer from PTSD and the neurotoxic effects of mefloquine.

Several others would face charges in relation to the matter, however most would later be acquitted by a court martial. These men and hundreds of others on that deployment would suffer from psychological anguish brought on by mefloquine neurotoxicity, which was identified in 2006.

It wasn’t until 2017 that the Canadian military decided to begin curtailing the use of mefloquine. It is no longer being offered as the first option in malaria prophylaxis for deployments. In fact, it appears as though mefloquine is being used less and less worldwide, as calls go out for further studies on the long-term effects. Litigation attorneys in numerous jurisdictions are busy preparing briefs for actions that will likely total in the billions of dollars.

We Really Need An Inquiry Do-Over

A three person Commission of Inquiry into the Somalia affair was convened in late 1995 by Defense Minister Art Eggleton, issuing its report in September 1997, after being cut short by David Collenette, Eggleton’s replacement.

Collenette had grown impatient with the commission, and when it was brought to an end, a great deal of testimony had yet to be heard. The final report contained 2000 pages over five volumes, and was highly critical of the leadership and culture within the Department of National Defense. There is no mention of mefloquine anywhere in it.


Marj Matchee holds a photo and boots of her husband Master Corporal Clayton Matchee during an anti-malarial drug mefloquine rally September 19, 2017 on the front steps of Parliament Hill in Ottawa.
DAVE CHAN/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

In 2017, Clayton Matchee’s wife, Marj Matchee, began calling for the government to re-open the inquiry. A great deal of information has come to light since the Commission’s incomplete report was released, and it needs to be brought to light. Had the information been available at the time, there is little doubt that it would have had an impact on the final report. To not re-open the inquiry would be a miscarriage of justice.

Kyle Brown, Clayton Matchee, and the rest of 2 CDO were not saints by any stretch of the imagination, and some held some pretty repugnant views, but they were professionals. The way I see it, and many will agree with me on this, without mefloquin, this wouldn’t have happened. The men of 2 CDO should not have to wear the mantle of destroyers of the Canadian Airborne Regiment. They, along with the Canadian Airborne Regiment, deserve to have their reputations restored.

Ex coelis

DBC

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1847738/

http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2016/bvg-oag/FA1-1999-1-0-eng.pdf

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/clayton-matchee-s-wife-wants-to-reopen-somalia-inquiry-1.4258889

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As Convoy Reaches Parliament Hill, The Real Message Is Muted.

Media Focus On Yellow Vests Shows That A New Approach Is Needed.

Looks like a pack of loons to me.

Janice Copling

https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/united-we-roll-protest-what-to-expect-downtown-this-week

Comments Section,Ottawa Citizen article, Feb. 19, 2019
The United We Roll convoy makes it to Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

The convoy that started out from Alberta on Valentines Day arrived on Parliament Hill this morning, joined by trucks from across the country. I wanted to see how the media were reporting this, so I looked at a variety of sites, and I was not surprised by much of what I read. That being said, it wasn’t all bad coverage, but the media bias in Canada is alive and well, and pushing an agenda based in fear.

The Big Three

Global, CTV, and CBC. Canada’s major fake news outlets had some differing takes on this story, though the CBC’s slant is clearly the most biased of the three. The Global and CTV News stories were the closest to being actual reporting, which frankly is refreshing.

CTV reported that 200 vehicles were involved, while Global put the number at “hundreds”. The CBC made no mention of the number of vehicles in their report.


On Tuesday morning, protesters parked approximately 200 vehicles in the streets surrounding Parliament Hill for a rally in front of the House of Commons.

Jeremiah Rodriguez, CTVNews.ca Staff  https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/convoy-arrives-in-ottawa-for-rally-following-cross-country-trek-1.4303118

Both CTV and Global made mention of the fact that trucks from Quebec and the Maritimes had joined in the protest, while the Mothercorp Commisar who wrote the CBC piece fails to mention this.


A group of like-minded protesters from Eastern Canada was expected to join up with them in Ottawa.


By Karen BartkoOnline Journalist  Global News https://globalnews.ca/news/4972392/truck-protest-ottawa-oil-policies/

The story on the CBC News website (author unknown) also contains judgmental statements such as “…controversial pro-pipeline movement..” and “..convoy of angry Albertans and other westerners…”, while the other two organizations refrained from being so blatantly prejudiced on this occasion, much to my surprise.


Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer welcomed a controversial convoy bringing a pro-pipeline message to Ottawa today, assuring participants that “we’ve got your back.”

Unknown government chimp, CBC News
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/truck-convoy-red-deer-ottawa-arnprior-1.5024229

The Yellow Vests

The Yellow Vests play prominent in every story, and their role in the convoy varies depending on the point of view of the author, however it is quite clear that some see them as the organizers of the convoy, and that has detracted from the message the actual organizers wanted to get across.

A headline in the Montreal Gazette on Feb. 19th read “Trucks rolled in at a rally initiated by Yellow Vests Eastern Ontario”, while the grotesquely liberal Huffington Puffington Post (props to Mr. Rush Limbaugh for that one) ran a headline that read “Yellow Vest, United We Roll Aren’t Just A Pipeline Movement: Experts”. The gist of the article is that a horde of angry white nationalists from Alberta, driving in large, carbon spewing, climate killing trucks, have invaded Ottawa, and are spewing racism and islamo/homo/transphobia on the sacred grounds of Parliament Hill.


“A movement may try to distance itself and claim a project they think is innocent, but when you scratch the surface you realize it’s a vehicle of hate,” said Joseph. He described yellow vests as “a revisioned white nationalist, white supremacist movement.”


By Samantha Beattie, Huffer
https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2019/02/19/yellow-vests-arent-just-a-pipeline-movement-experts_a_23673410/

It is in the comments section however, that you really get a feel for what people are thinking, at least what those people who felt strongly enough to actually write in anyways. The views of many who wrote in are summed up nicely by one woman, Janice Copling, whose comment on the story in the Ottawa Citizen was “Looks like a pack of loons to me”. While there were people who wrote in to defend the convoy, many saw it as just a bunch of angry racist rednecks who were out to stir up trouble.

Let The Editorializing Begin

Anyone who actually gives two shits about the issue and has a brain cell would know that the original purpose of the convoy was to draw attention to the fact that Ottawa needs to act on the pipeline issue IMMEDIATELY. The men and women in the convoy would otherwise be working right now, were it not for the current government of Canada, led by Justin Trudeau. Not only has it shown itself to be just as corrupt as Liberal government’s gone by, it has also proven to be perhaps the single most inept government in the history of Canada.

The message was muted by the presence of the Yellow Vests however, and this brings me to my thoughts on the Yellow Vest movement in Canada. Make no mistake, I fully support the vast majority of what the Yellow Vests are saying, with the exception of those beliefs espoused by the “fringe” elements of the movement.

I do not think that all left-leaning, liberal’s belong to or support Antifa, and so, similarly, I hope that you would not think that I’m a racist or neo-Nazi for espousing right-leaning conservative beliefs. I believe we need strict immigration controls, something that Canada is sorely lacking. This doesn’t mean I want to start putting muslim’s into internment camps, or deporting every person of colour that I see.

This Isn’t France

The reasons why Le Gilete Jaunes have proven to be an effective movement in France, are the same reasons that their Canadian compatriots have not, and will not achieve the same success.

First, the yellow vest has become ubiquitous in France, thanks to the law requiring them in all vehicles. They were ready at hand, bought and paid for, and, most importantly, symbolic of their cause. As you may recall, the protests in France began in response to an increase to fuel taxes, which of course directly affect vehicle owners. In Canada, the majority of people do not own a yellow vest, and it would require an outlay of cash (anywhere from $4 if you can find one at Dollarama, to $20 or more elsewhere). This tends to reduce support among those who can’t afford one, leaving them feeling left out.

The Yellow Toque’s. A Made In Canada Movement?

It’s probably safe to say that the vast majority of Canadians either have in the past, or currently own a toque, especially after the total load of bullshit that Mother Nature dumped on us in the form of the Polar Vortex. It might be safe to say that on a per capita basis, more people in Canada wear toque’s than people in France wear yellow vests. I know it wouldn’t be the best choice for summertime protesting, but I really can’t think of anything more Canadian than a toque for this.

The lack of a cohesive message is the other thing that differentiates the Yellow Vests. Here in Canada, the myriad of issues lends itself to confusion. They are essentially protesting everything all at once, which, while it shows that we have a LOT to complain about, doesn’t provide the specific focus it will need in order to garner greater success.

The Fight Must Go On

As Canadian’s, we’re still fairly new to the whole protest movement thing, especially those of us on the conservative side of things. We don’t have years of experience in protesting against out government, unlike many Europeans.

It is funny, and at the same time very sad, that one would aspire to put on a protest like those many we’ve seen held in European cities. Tens of thousands filling the streets at once, signs made, songs ready to be sung, flags being waved. I would prefer going without the tear gas and water cannons that are often synonymous with Continental demonstrations, but it would be foolish to expect otherwise.

The stakes are simply too high to stop now. Justin Trudeau and his minions in the Liberal caucus are a detriment to Canada. We knew of the ineptitude of this government, and now we have proof that corruption is ingrained in Liberal DNA. Allowed to remain in office, they will finish destroying the Alberta economy, which will precipitate an economic disaster that will be felt from coast, to coast, to coast.

DBC

Post Script

To see what the Crisis in Alberta looks like by the numbers, follow this link. You’ll begin to understand what it is that has turned us into “Angry Albertan’s”https://onecalgaryvoter.com/2019/01/07/the-last-good-day-2/