WE really need to get rid of this guy

Dixie Cup

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Dreaming...
Toronto family who unknowingly employed war criminal fears nothing has changed
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Mia Rabson
Published Feb 19, 2024 • 5 minute read

OTTAWA — Almost 30 years ago, Gail Bocknek turned on the evening news and watched dumbfounded as a man who had worked for her family for decades was identified as a Nazi war criminal.


Bocknek, the daughter of European Jews who had many extended family members die in the Holocaust, felt sick.


“I was just glad that my parents didn’t live to see this,” Bocknek said in a recent interview.

The stomach-churning memories of that day resurfaced for Bocknek last fall when Canadian parliamentarians of all stripes unknowingly applauded a man who had fought with a Nazi unit in Ukraine.

And they resurfaced once again earlier this month when the Liberal government agreed to declassify 15 more pages from a 1985 report on Canada’s less-than-flattering history of allowing former Nazis into Canada and failing to prosecute or deport them when their crimes came to light.

Bocknek said although decades have passed, she is not convinced anything has changed. She has little confidence that Canada’s current laws are sufficient to keep out people who committed atrocities overseas.


“I’m just saying that they’ve got to be accountable and they have to protect us,” she said.

Bocknek said she was about six years old when her parents hired a housekeeper, Emma Tobiass, who became a fixture in their lives. Emma’s husband, Erichs Tobiass, was employed as a mechanic for a car dealership but also worked for the family regularly doing odd jobs and house sitting.

“They came and stayed with my brother and I when my parents were out of town,” she recalls.

When Bocknek married and had children of her own, Erichs and Emma Tobiass continued to work for her family as well, including looking after her children.

Bocknek said he was never a “warm man” but was also never cruel.

Then in March 1995 Bocknek was watching a dinner hour newscast and saw a report that Canada was trying to revoke the citizenships of four men believed to have been Nazi collaborators.


Bocknek heard the name Erichs Tobiass, but no photo ran with the segment, leaving her unsure if the report referred to the man she knew.

She frantically called the TV station looking for more details, to no avail. At 11 p.m. they watched the news again and this time there was a photo.

“And it was Erichs,” said Bocknek.

She said the first thing she did was go out to the front of her house where some lilies Erichs had planted for them still grew. She pulled them all out and “threw them into the ravine.”

Soon after she tried to call him, looking for answers.

“He wouldn’t come to the phone,” she said.

“This lady answered, and I said, ‘I would just like you to ask Erichs one question.; And she said, ‘what?’ And I said, ‘Would he have killed my brother and I?’


All Bocknek got in response was a click as the woman hung up the phone.

While the family had no idea about his true identity, the Canadian government did — and had for nearly 30 years.

In 1966, Tobiass was on a list of six alleged war criminals from Latvia provided to the Canadian government by Simon Wiesenthal, a Holocaust survivor who dedicated his life to tracking down Nazi war criminals.

A 1995 report on Tobiass’s case said documents show Canada refused to meet with Wiesenthal about the list.

Tobiass was alleged to have been part of a Nazi commando unit with the Latvian Auxiliary Security Police, which stands accused of murdering as many as 30,000 Jews between 1941 and 1943.

He moved to Canada in the 1950s and became a citizen in 1957, settling in Toronto.


Bocknek said she never got any indication of that history from either Erichs or Emma.

“You know they never had children, and Erichs said to my brother and I when we went to (her) funeral that Emma always thought of us as her kids, and we sort of knew that. That’s how she looked after us,” said Bocknek.

Canada was among many western countries that admitted thousands of Nazi war criminals in the years after the Second World War, even as many countries, including Canada, were rejecting Jewish asylum seekers.

Immigration Minister Marc Miller said it is clear Canada’s history on this front is “shameful.”

“It was easier to come in as a war criminal than it was as a Jew,” he said in an interview.

Canada began taking steps to confront that history in the mid-1980s, holding a commission of inquiry known as the Deschenes Commission to look at how so many war criminals had ended up as Canadians.


That commission identified more than 800 people possibly living in Canada with ties to the Nazis, with 29 meriting special attention by the government.

While parts of that report have been released publicly, there are still many pages that have not, including the list of names. It remains unclear exactly how many were ever investigated.

The Justice Department’s war crimes unit, created after the Deschenes Commission released its findings, said in 2002 it had attempted to prosecute or deport 18 people, but only two had actually left the country. At least half of that number died before their cases concluded.

In 1987 Canada changed the Criminal Code to allow war criminals to be prosecuted in Canada for crimes overseas. But the first prosecutions failed after one defendant successfully argued he had just been following orders.


Canada decided in 1995 it would move to try and deport suspected war criminals if prosecutions wouldn’t work. Tobiass was one of the first four people informed in the winter of 1995 that his citizenship was being reviewed.

Legal wranglings delayed the case for years and he died in 1997 at the age of 86.

Other cases lingered in the courts for decades, including that of Helmut Oberlander, one of the three men Canada tried to deport along with Tobiass.

A judge concluded in 2000 that Oberlander had failed to disclose his wartime activities when he applied for citizenship in 1953. Canada revoked his citizenship for the first of several times in 2008.

The case remained in the courts for more than another decade as Oberlander fought the various revocation decisions. He died in Waterloo, Ont. in 2021 at the age of 97, still a Canadian citizen.


Bocknek said she has no confidence that Canada is properly checking on the histories of those it admits, even today.

“People lie on their citizenship applications all the time,” she said.

Miller said the system is better but agreed it is not perfect.

“The security situation in Canada today is radically different than it was then,” he said.

“But it doesn’t mean that it is airtight.”

He said Canada unsuccessfully tried to revoke the citizenship of someone accused of war crimes in the former Yugoslavia as recently as January.

“So these things do happen. I’m not naive enough to suggest to you that this doesn’t happen anymore. But the way we do triage today with biometrics and background checks and the extensive information that we require from people coming into Canada … is much more extensive than it was in the late ’40s or throughout the ’50s and even ’60s.”
So do they really? With what's happened in the last few years, I'm beginning to suspect we've been fools & lied to for many, many years by our governments. I think we'd be naïve to think otherwise. What else has been happening that we don't know about but I guess that's just me.
 

petros

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So do they really? With what's happened in the last few years, I'm beginning to suspect we've been fools & lied to for many, many years by our governments. I think we'd be naïve to think otherwise. What else has been happening that we don't know about but I guess that's just me.
They were allegedly vetted but..
 

Tecumsehsbones

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So do they really? With what's happened in the last few years, I'm beginning to suspect we've been fools & lied to for many, many years by our governments. I think we'd be naïve to think otherwise. What else has been happening that we don't know about but I guess that's just me.
Yes, Dixie. Every government lies.
 
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spaminator

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Once-aspiring Soo mayoral candidate accused of girlfriend's murder in L.A.

Author of the article:Brad Hunter
Published Feb 20, 2024 • Last updated 2 days ago • 2 minute read
Aspiring Soo mayor Jeff Primeau.
Aspiring Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., mayor Jeff Primeau has been arrested for murder in Los Angeles.
A former Sault Ste. Marie man who once dreamed of helming the port city has been arrested and charged with the murder of his girlfriend in Los Angeles.


Village Media first reported that Jeffery Gary Primeau was taken into custody by LAPD homicide detectives on Feb. 9. The website reported that the slaying allegedly occurred on Nov. 22, 2023.


Primeau was reportedly denied bail during a Friday hearing at the City of Angeles’ Airport Courthouse. He will be back in court on March 14.

Few details were available about the slaying itself. But the website, citing L.A.’s Westside Current, reported an “unnamed Canadian man surrendered to police on Feb. 9 and confessed to killing his partner.” He allegedly claimed self-defence after the woman threatened him with a knife.


The Current story said: “Following his confession, police were directed to an RV parked near the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), where they discovered the woman’s body, which had significantly decomposed. The vehicle was immediately seized for a thorough investigation.”

In 2022, Primeau fell two signatures short of getting on the ballot for the municipal election in the northern Ontario city, having waited for the final day to get the requisite 25 signatories. He’d do it differently the next time, Primeau told Village Media.

“I cannot wait for the next election because I will not wait for the last minute,” he said. “I will be putting in my candidacy on the first day, not the last day.”

None of the charges have been proven in court.


Primeau had formerly worked at Algoma Steel. Since last September, he appears to have embarked on an epic road trip across the United States before the trek allegedly ended in tragedy in southern California.

So far, cops have not released the name of the victim, but according to Village Media she appears to have been a more recent acquaintance. Primeau introduces her on the plethora of photos and videos he began posting on Facebook.

Ten days before the death, he uploaded two videos of the newsome twosome in his RV. He joked the pair were “still finding out a lot about each other, like what our real names are.” The woman then laughs. In another, he mentions that the pair crossed the Blue Water Bridge from Sarnia, Ont., into Port Huron, Mich.


“The adventure begins,” he says. “We crossed the border without a problem. They asked where we’re going, I said ‘Arizona.’ They said, ‘For how long?’ I said, ‘For three or four months,’ and he says, ‘OK, have a great day.’ Yeah, it’s cool being chill.”

Later, they arrived in Arkansas, then Texas, where they hooked up with old friends. Before the woman’s death, his last post was on Nov. 22 in Llano, Texas, northwest of Austin. And then he went radio silent until New Year’s Day, when he announced: “I am alive!!! Be healthy, happy and humble.”

Primeau has been remanded into custody.

bhunter@postmedia.com

X: @HunterTOSun
 

spaminator

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Canada’s war crimes program hasn’t publicly updated its activities in eight years
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Published Feb 21, 2024 • 1 minute read
It later emerged that Hunka had fought in Ukraine during the Second World War with the Waffen-SS Galicia Division, a voluntary unit created by the Nazis to help fight off the Soviet Union.
It later emerged that Hunka had fought in Ukraine during the Second World War with the Waffen-SS Galicia Division, a voluntary unit created by the Nazis to help fight off the Soviet Union.
OTTAWA — A federal government unit tasked with keeping war criminals out of Canada has not published a report on its activities in more than eight years.


The War Crimes Program is a joint partnership involving the federal departments of justice and immigration, the Canada Border Services Agency and the RCMP.


The idea of a joint government effort on war criminals arose in 1987 after the Deschenes Commission on war criminals confirmed that Canada allowed former Nazis into the country following the Second World War.

The program issued reports on its activities to investigate, prosecute and deport suspected war criminals annually for 10 years, but then issued only two reports between 2008 and 2015 and nothing since then.

A spokesman for the Department of Justice says the program is in the midst of trying to collect data since 2016 so it can publish an update.

Canada’s efforts have been under increased scrutiny since Parliament applauded a man last September who was later identified as having fought with a Nazi unit in Ukraine during the Second World War.
 

spaminator

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Concern over Hunka scandal contributed to delay in unveiling Victims of Communism memorial: Documents
Planning for the unveiling came to a grinding halt on Oct. 13

Author of the article:David Pugliese • Ottawa Citizen
Published Feb 21, 2024 • Last updated 18 hours ago • 3 minute read

The unveiling of the Victims of Communism memorial was put on hold because of the controversy over parliamentarians honouring a Waffen SS soldier and potential links between the monument and Nazi collaborators, newly released records show.


The Ottawa memorial was supposed to be unveiled Nov. 2, 2023, and Department of Canadian Heritage planning for that event was in its final stages in early October, according to the records obtained by this newspaper using the Access to Information law.

But on Sept. 22, Yaroslav Hunka of North Bay, Ont., was recognized in the House of Commons by all MPs with a standing ovation. He had been introduced as a Ukrainian Canadian war veteran and a hero, but news quickly emerged that he had served in a Ukrainian Waffen SS unit that fought for the Nazis.

The incident became an international embarrassment for Canada as Holocaust historians, Jewish groups and the Polish government alleged that Hunka’s unit, SS Galicia, had been involved in war crimes, including the massacres of women and children.


The fallout of the Hunka scandal had a direct impact on the unveiling of the Memorial to the Victims of Communism, which had already been criticized for honouring Nazi collaborators and Holocaust perpetrators. Planning for the unveiling came to a grinding halt on Oct. 13, the records show.

“We’ve already chatted about the issues with the Wall of Remembrance, so I think you can imagine that the recent incident of the Ukrainian SS officer who was honoured in the House has had an impact on this project, especially as the matter of possibly Nazi collaborators being included on the Wall has been previously reported in the media,” wrote Sandra Richards, project manager for monuments and public art at Canadian Heritage.


The Victims of Communism memorial is supposed to honour those who suffered under communism and will include a wall of remembrance that will allow 600 names of individuals, groups or events to be listed.

But concerns have been raised by Jewish organizations that names of eastern Europeans who collaborated with the Nazis in the Holocaust have been put forward in an attempt to whitewash their past.

Canadian government officials have already identified some individuals who served with the Waffen SS among those names submitted, according to other federal documents obtained by this newspaper. Other alleged Nazi collaborators associated with the memorial have also been identified by the Canadian Heritage, but the exact number is censored from the records.


“It is important to note that many anti-communist and anti-Soviet advocates and fighters were also active Nazi collaborators, who committed documented massacres,” Global Affairs Canada officials warned their counterparts at Canadian Heritage in 2021.

“We anticipate that the listing of names that are not thoroughly vetted and the result of a broad consensus could generate significant controversy both in Canada and abroad,” the diplomats added.

Private donations had already been made to the monument in the names of Nazi collaborators, the CBC reported in July 2021. Those included Roman Shukhevych, a Ukrainian nationalist whose troops murdered Jews and Poles, and Ante Pavelić who ran a Nazi puppet regime in Croatia and is considered a chief perpetrator of the Holocaust in the Balkans, the CBC reported.


The $7.5-million Memorial to the Victims of Communism, financed mainly by the federal government, is now essentially completed at a fenced-off site along Wellington Street in downtown Ottawa.

The Department of Canadian Heritage did not provide comment.

However, a statement posted at a government website for the project on Oct. 18 said that, “although the Memorial to the Victims of Communism-Canada, a Land of Refuge was scheduled to be inaugurated by the end of 2023, the Government of Canada is doing its due diligence to ensure all aspects of the memorial remain compatible with Canadian values on democracy and human rights.”

Canadian Heritage noted it was “reviewing all aspects of the project” before the unveiling. That included the names of individuals, groups or events provided by Tribute to Liberty, the proponent of the project, department spokesperson Caroline Czajkowski said in a previous statement.


“We are not in a position to disclose further information about the process at this stage,” she added. No date has been publicly announced for the unveiling.

The main spokesperson for Tribute to Liberty did not respond to a request for comment.

David Pugliese is an award-winning journalist covering Canadian Forces and military issues in Canada. To support his work, including exclusive content for subscribers only, sign up here: ottawacitizen.com/subscribe
 

petros

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Concern over Hunka scandal contributed to delay in unveiling Victims of Communism memorial: Documents
Planning for the unveiling came to a grinding halt on Oct. 13

Author of the article:David Pugliese • Ottawa Citizen
Published Feb 21, 2024 • Last updated 18 hours ago • 3 minute read

The unveiling of the Victims of Communism memorial was put on hold because of the controversy over parliamentarians honouring a Waffen SS soldier and potential links between the monument and Nazi collaborators, newly released records show.


The Ottawa memorial was supposed to be unveiled Nov. 2, 2023, and Department of Canadian Heritage planning for that event was in its final stages in early October, according to the records obtained by this newspaper using the Access to Information law.

But on Sept. 22, Yaroslav Hunka of North Bay, Ont., was recognized in the House of Commons by all MPs with a standing ovation. He had been introduced as a Ukrainian Canadian war veteran and a hero, but news quickly emerged that he had served in a Ukrainian Waffen SS unit that fought for the Nazis.

The incident became an international embarrassment for Canada as Holocaust historians, Jewish groups and the Polish government alleged that Hunka’s unit, SS Galicia, had been involved in war crimes, including the massacres of women and children.


The fallout of the Hunka scandal had a direct impact on the unveiling of the Memorial to the Victims of Communism, which had already been criticized for honouring Nazi collaborators and Holocaust perpetrators. Planning for the unveiling came to a grinding halt on Oct. 13, the records show.

“We’ve already chatted about the issues with the Wall of Remembrance, so I think you can imagine that the recent incident of the Ukrainian SS officer who was honoured in the House has had an impact on this project, especially as the matter of possibly Nazi collaborators being included on the Wall has been previously reported in the media,” wrote Sandra Richards, project manager for monuments and public art at Canadian Heritage.


The Victims of Communism memorial is supposed to honour those who suffered under communism and will include a wall of remembrance that will allow 600 names of individuals, groups or events to be listed.

But concerns have been raised by Jewish organizations that names of eastern Europeans who collaborated with the Nazis in the Holocaust have been put forward in an attempt to whitewash their past.

Canadian government officials have already identified some individuals who served with the Waffen SS among those names submitted, according to other federal documents obtained by this newspaper. Other alleged Nazi collaborators associated with the memorial have also been identified by the Canadian Heritage, but the exact number is censored from the records.


“It is important to note that many anti-communist and anti-Soviet advocates and fighters were also active Nazi collaborators, who committed documented massacres,” Global Affairs Canada officials warned their counterparts at Canadian Heritage in 2021.

“We anticipate that the listing of names that are not thoroughly vetted and the result of a broad consensus could generate significant controversy both in Canada and abroad,” the diplomats added.

Private donations had already been made to the monument in the names of Nazi collaborators, the CBC reported in July 2021. Those included Roman Shukhevych, a Ukrainian nationalist whose troops murdered Jews and Poles, and Ante Pavelić who ran a Nazi puppet regime in Croatia and is considered a chief perpetrator of the Holocaust in the Balkans, the CBC reported.


The $7.5-million Memorial to the Victims of Communism, financed mainly by the federal government, is now essentially completed at a fenced-off site along Wellington Street in downtown Ottawa.

The Department of Canadian Heritage did not provide comment.

However, a statement posted at a government website for the project on Oct. 18 said that, “although the Memorial to the Victims of Communism-Canada, a Land of Refuge was scheduled to be inaugurated by the end of 2023, the Government of Canada is doing its due diligence to ensure all aspects of the memorial remain compatible with Canadian values on democracy and human rights.”

Canadian Heritage noted it was “reviewing all aspects of the project” before the unveiling. That included the names of individuals, groups or events provided by Tribute to Liberty, the proponent of the project, department spokesperson Caroline Czajkowski said in a previous statement.


“We are not in a position to disclose further information about the process at this stage,” she added. No date has been publicly announced for the unveiling.

The main spokesperson for Tribute to Liberty did not respond to a request for comment.

David Pugliese is an award-winning journalist covering Canadian Forces and military issues in Canada. To support his work, including exclusive content for subscribers only, sign up here: ottawacitizen.com/subscribe
Free Lemkovyna!!!
 
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spaminator

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Claws come out for federal minister who shared picture of lobster lunch in Asia
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Hina Alam
Published Feb 22, 2024 • Last updated 1 day ago • 4 minute read
A social media post by the federal agriculture minister eating lobster in Malaysia while on an official Indo-Pacific trip has some people seeing red.
A social media post by the federal agriculture minister eating lobster in Malaysia while on an official Indo-Pacific trip has some people seeing red. PHOTO BY HANDOUT /THE CANADIAN PRESS
FREDERICTON — A photo of federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay eating lobster in Malaysia during an official trip has some people seeing red.


Shared Sunday on the minister’s profile on the X platform, formerly known as Twitter, the photo shows a sun-dappled MacAulay looking relaxed, wearing a T-shirt and sunglasses, and holding a lobster claw in his right hand with the rest of the crustacean on a plate before him.


“Touched down in Malaysia! I’m looking forward to a productive week of meeting with officials, industry leaders, and partners from Canada and the Indo-Pacific to promote our world-class products _ like the lobster I enjoyed for lunch in Kuala Lumpur!” reads the caption from the Prince Edward Island MP.

Viewed more than two million times and with more than 2,800 comments — many of them negative — the photo has some describing the minister as “tone deaf” for displaying a luxurious meal while Canadians struggle with the cost of food, and others defending him for promoting one of his region’s most important exports.



Daniel Tsai, a lecturer in communication, culture, information and technology at the University of Toronto, said the first impression he had when he saw the picture was that it was tone deaf.

To see the minister “chowing down” on lobster may play well with his home crowd in the Maritimes but sends the wrong message to the rest of Canadians who are pinching pennies to get by, he said.

“Canadians across Canada would … see the minister living high off the hog and benefiting from a junket, as well as having a lobster dinner in a nice, sunny location as opposed to the Canadians who are struggling through winter and trying to make ends meet. So, I think that’s all valid criticism.”

Instead of sharing the photo, the minister could have asked a lobster fisher or a Canadian celebrity like Ryan Reynolds to promote the tour on social media, Tsai said.


“I think the fact is that he may not have great advisers around him,” Tsai said. “Political optics are everything and I think he blew it on this one.”

But Geoff Irvine, executive director of the Lobster Council of Canada, said Canadians should focus on the message of the picture.

“It’s more about the support that ministers give our industry _ and all Canadian industries — when out in the international market,” he said in a recent interview. “And it’s absolutely vital.”

The federal fisheries department says Canada’s seafood sector exports were worth $8.79 billion in 2021, a 36 per cent increase over 2020. Lobster exports, which brought in $3.26 billion in 2021, led the domestic seafood market, followed by crab at $2.18 billion and salmon at $1.12 billion. The main exporting provinces, accounting for about 70 per cent of the country’s seafood export value, were Nova Scotia with $2.48 billion, New Brunswick with $2.21 billion and Newfoundland and Labrador with $1.42 billion.


Irvine said that while the United States remains Canada’s top market for seafood, the Asian market is growing fast.

Ruth Inniss, fisheries adviser for the Maritime Fishermen’s Union, said she can’t understand why people are upset by the picture of MacAulay. Promoting Canadian lobster in Asia will help the economy in Atlantic Canada, she said, adding that the promotion could expand markets for seafood, and bring in more money for fishers, lobster buyers and processors.

“I think they don’t understand how promoting Canadian lobster _ Atlantic lobster — can be positive,” Inniss said. “It’s just manufactured criticism at this point.”

Annie Cullinan, spokeswoman for MacAulay, said the minister makes a point to seek out Canadian products when he travels outside the country. “And he’s incredibly proud to highlight them and celebrate the farmers and fishers who work tirelessly to feed Canadians and people around the world,” she said in an email.


Stewart Prest, a lecturer at University of British Columbia’s political science department, said it is “very easy” for the photo to generate outrage in a country where people are dealing with high grocery prices.

MacAulay should have made a clearer distinction between professional obligations and anything that smacks of personal enjoyment or rewards, Prest said.

“Clarifying the context at all times when engaging in public communication is really crucial . … Essentially avoid the appearance and the reality of conspicuously enjoying the rich fruits of public office at public expense.”

Jeffrey Dvorkin, a senior fellow at the University of Toronto and the former director of its journalism program, said the picture gives the impression that the federal government has given up.

“That they really don’t care what other people think. And there’s a kind of an end-of-regime feeling that’s being invoked here,” he said.

The photo gives the impression that the minister is taking advantage of his work trip because he thinks he’s going to lose his seat in the next election, Dvorkin said.

“It’s just pathetic, frankly. And it’s too bad because selling Canadian lobster overseas is a good idea in principle, but he doesn’t have to be the one demonstrating it.”
1708864016584.png
 
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spaminator

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Liberal MP Sean Fraser begins fundraising campaign, mum on leadership bid: Report
Author of the article:postmedia News
Published Feb 22, 2024 • Last updated 2 days ago • 1 minute read

Housing Minister Sean Fraser, who may have Liberal leadership ambitions, appears to have begun a national fundraising campaign.


According to Blacklock’s Reporter, citing Elections Canada filings, Fraser’s Central Nova Federal Liberal Association held a $500-a-head fundraiser on Feb. 7 at the Calgary Petroleum Club.


The fundraiser was attended by Albertans, including former Calgary mayor Al Duerr and his wife, former Calgary councillor Evan Woolley and Calgary lawyers, developers and oil and gas executives.

Since the 2021 federal election, all but two of 481 past donors to the Central Nova Federal Liberal Association were from Nova Scotia, Quebec and Ontario, according to Elections Canada.

The Nova Scotia MP’s office didn’t not respond to questions Wednesday about the Calgary fundraiser.

Late last month, Fraser also did not reply when asked at a press conference if he was considering a Liberal leadership bid.


However, one former Liberal MP said he is hopeful about the party after months of opinion polling showing the Conservative Party with a large lead.

“While many are counting the federal Liberals as being dead on arrival in the next election I think the outcome of this is far from clear,” Kent Hehr, an organizer of the Petroleum Club fundraiser, wrote in a recent LinkedIn post.

“If polling is to be believed it appears the federal Conservatives are on the march. Make no mistake about it, Pierre Poilievre if successful in the next election would be Canada’s most right-leaning Prime Minister ever.”

Hehr, who didn’t mention Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, called Poilievre “an extremely intelligent and engaging person.”
 

Tecumsehsbones

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Claws come out for federal minister who shared picture of lobster lunch in Asia
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Hina Alam
Published Feb 22, 2024 • Last updated 1 day ago • 4 minute read
A social media post by the federal agriculture minister eating lobster in Malaysia while on an official Indo-Pacific trip has some people seeing red.
A social media post by the federal agriculture minister eating lobster in Malaysia while on an official Indo-Pacific trip has some people seeing red. PHOTO BY HANDOUT /THE CANADIAN PRESS
FREDERICTON — A photo of federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay eating lobster in Malaysia during an official trip has some people seeing red.


Shared Sunday on the minister’s profile on the X platform, formerly known as Twitter, the photo shows a sun-dappled MacAulay looking relaxed, wearing a T-shirt and sunglasses, and holding a lobster claw in his right hand with the rest of the crustacean on a plate before him.


“Touched down in Malaysia! I’m looking forward to a productive week of meeting with officials, industry leaders, and partners from Canada and the Indo-Pacific to promote our world-class products _ like the lobster I enjoyed for lunch in Kuala Lumpur!” reads the caption from the Prince Edward Island MP.

Viewed more than two million times and with more than 2,800 comments — many of them negative — the photo has some describing the minister as “tone deaf” for displaying a luxurious meal while Canadians struggle with the cost of food, and others defending him for promoting one of his region’s most important exports.



Daniel Tsai, a lecturer in communication, culture, information and technology at the University of Toronto, said the first impression he had when he saw the picture was that it was tone deaf.

To see the minister “chowing down” on lobster may play well with his home crowd in the Maritimes but sends the wrong message to the rest of Canadians who are pinching pennies to get by, he said.

“Canadians across Canada would … see the minister living high off the hog and benefiting from a junket, as well as having a lobster dinner in a nice, sunny location as opposed to the Canadians who are struggling through winter and trying to make ends meet. So, I think that’s all valid criticism.”

Instead of sharing the photo, the minister could have asked a lobster fisher or a Canadian celebrity like Ryan Reynolds to promote the tour on social media, Tsai said.


“I think the fact is that he may not have great advisers around him,” Tsai said. “Political optics are everything and I think he blew it on this one.”

But Geoff Irvine, executive director of the Lobster Council of Canada, said Canadians should focus on the message of the picture.

“It’s more about the support that ministers give our industry _ and all Canadian industries — when out in the international market,” he said in a recent interview. “And it’s absolutely vital.”

The federal fisheries department says Canada’s seafood sector exports were worth $8.79 billion in 2021, a 36 per cent increase over 2020. Lobster exports, which brought in $3.26 billion in 2021, led the domestic seafood market, followed by crab at $2.18 billion and salmon at $1.12 billion. The main exporting provinces, accounting for about 70 per cent of the country’s seafood export value, were Nova Scotia with $2.48 billion, New Brunswick with $2.21 billion and Newfoundland and Labrador with $1.42 billion.


Irvine said that while the United States remains Canada’s top market for seafood, the Asian market is growing fast.

Ruth Inniss, fisheries adviser for the Maritime Fishermen’s Union, said she can’t understand why people are upset by the picture of MacAulay. Promoting Canadian lobster in Asia will help the economy in Atlantic Canada, she said, adding that the promotion could expand markets for seafood, and bring in more money for fishers, lobster buyers and processors.

“I think they don’t understand how promoting Canadian lobster _ Atlantic lobster — can be positive,” Inniss said. “It’s just manufactured criticism at this point.”

Annie Cullinan, spokeswoman for MacAulay, said the minister makes a point to seek out Canadian products when he travels outside the country. “And he’s incredibly proud to highlight them and celebrate the farmers and fishers who work tirelessly to feed Canadians and people around the world,” she said in an email.


Stewart Prest, a lecturer at University of British Columbia’s political science department, said it is “very easy” for the photo to generate outrage in a country where people are dealing with high grocery prices.

MacAulay should have made a clearer distinction between professional obligations and anything that smacks of personal enjoyment or rewards, Prest said.

“Clarifying the context at all times when engaging in public communication is really crucial . … Essentially avoid the appearance and the reality of conspicuously enjoying the rich fruits of public office at public expense.”

Jeffrey Dvorkin, a senior fellow at the University of Toronto and the former director of its journalism program, said the picture gives the impression that the federal government has given up.

“That they really don’t care what other people think. And there’s a kind of an end-of-regime feeling that’s being invoked here,” he said.

The photo gives the impression that the minister is taking advantage of his work trip because he thinks he’s going to lose his seat in the next election, Dvorkin said.

“It’s just pathetic, frankly. And it’s too bad because selling Canadian lobster overseas is a good idea in principle, but he doesn’t have to be the one demonstrating it.”
View attachment 21279
Kudos for the UnderArmour shirt!

I own stock.
 

Tecumsehsbones

Hall of Fame Member
Mar 18, 2013
55,803
7,177
113
Washington DC
General query. . . when should a PM call an election?

a. When they think they can win.
b. When their party/coalition wants one.
c. When the people who hate them above all else want them to.
 

spaminator

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
36,040
3,068
113
Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault to be questioned over road funding remarks: Report
Author of the article:postmedia News
Published Feb 22, 2024 • Last updated 2 days ago • 2 minute read

Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault will face pointed questions from the transportation committee over recent remarks that the Liberal government will stop funding new roads across the country.


The House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities voted 11-0 on Wednesday to summon the minister.


Conservative MP Mark Strahl called the remarks “a radical policy.”

“His divisive comments, his extreme position has set off alarm bells in provincial capitals, in cities, in remote communities and Indigenous communities right across the country,” Strahl said, according to Blacklock’s Reporter.

“These were not comments where the minister was caught on a street corner by a lucky journalist who happened to find him while he was walking or riding his bike,” said Strahl. “These were comments given to a conference. These were prepared remarks by the Minister of Environment designed to send a message to Canadians.”



On Feb. 12, Guilbeault spoke at a fundraising luncheon for a public transit advocacy group in Montreal. The Montreal Gazette published the transcript of his speech.

“Our government has made the decision to stop investing in new road infrastructure,” Guilbeault said. “Of course we will continue to be there for cities, provinces and territories to maintain the existing network but there will be no more envelopes from the federal government to enlarge the road network. The analysis we have done is the network is perfectly adequate to respond to the needs we have.”

Two days later, Guilbeault walked back the comments when questioned in Ottawa.

“Of course we are funding roads,” said Guilbeault. “We have programs to fund roads. Maybe I should have been more specific.”


Bloc Quebecois MP Xavier Barsalou-Duval told the transport committee that his explanation didn’t clear up his earlier messaging.

“This could be the militant vision of someone who comes from a certain ideology who says, ‘Okay, I will say something that will be shocking to people,'” said Barsalou-Duval. “But when you are in government you’re supposed to be responsible and make decisions for all of our country.”

However, Liberal MP Chris Bittle said there has been no change to government policy and the minister didn’t announce any new directives.

“We are making historic investments across the country,” said Bittle.
 

Ron in Regina

"Voice of the West" Party
Apr 9, 2008
23,490
8,234
113
Regina, Saskatchewan
General query. . . when should a PM call an election?

a. When they think they can win.
b. When their party/coalition wants one.
c. When the people who hate them above all else want them to.
That’s an excellent question and I really don’t know the answer because I haven’t thought it through, but perhaps there should be an option d. above.

d. When it becomes obvious that continuing your government is doing much more harm to your nation and its people than good

Unfortunately, that leads to:

1) in whose opinion?
2) based upon what criteria?
3) based upon what metric or measurement?
 
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spaminator

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
36,040
3,068
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Federal government posts $23.6B deficit for April-to-December period
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Published Feb 23, 2024 • 1 minute read

OTTAWA — The federal government posted a budgetary deficit of $23.6 billion for the first nine months of its 2023-24 fiscal year.


The result compared with a deficit of $5.5 billion for the same stretch of its 2022-23 fiscal year.


Government revenue for the April-to-December period totalled $318.1 billion, up from $310.0 billion a year earlier, boosted by higher personal income tax revenue, other non-tax revenue and other taxes and duties, partially offset by lower corporate income tax.

The government says program expenses, excluding net actuarial losses, totalled $301.0 billion for nine-month period, up from $282.4 billion a year earlier, with increases across all major categories of spending.

Public debt charges amounted to $35.1 billion, up from $25.8 billion, due to higher interest rates.

Net actuarial losses totalled $5.7 billion, down from $7.4 billion a year earlier.