Monday, August 20, 2007

Conservatives Not Being Open? Phfttt!

On The Conservative Party's website Stephane Dion is attacked for alleging that the Harper government is in talks with the United States concerning exporting bulk water to certain states. The website along with various Conservative blogs, all receiving the same email, call Dion a Conspiracy Theorist. It was brought forth that Stephane Dion had little evidence, and Dion recognizes the difficulty in providing evidence of official communications versus unofficial.

This whole story though I believe is still not finished, indeed the Conservatives in responding to the accusation have, in my opinion, provided stronger grounds for at least a deeper investigation.

In this news article detailing the events as the unfurled, and amonst the various quotes from Conservatives, not once does the Conservative Party ever deny the negotiation of bulk water to the United States. The only comment that could be constued as something similar to that effect is:
Asked on Thursday by reporters whether there are discussions under way on the contentious issue, a senior government official flatly denied that it was on the agenda or would be discussed at the three-way talks at Montebello, Que., involving Prime Minister Stephen Harper, U.S. President George W. Bush and Mexican President Felipe Calderon.
This paragraph, though perhaps informative, does nothing more then say that bulk water trade is not on the current agenda and will not be discussed at the summit. It does not say that Harper never negotiated with the Americans for future trade on Bulk Water; in fact the language that is used by the Conservatives is quite careful.

Which brings back up the Conservative website; this too walks the fine line of not out-right denying bulk water trade but attacking Dion for making such an allegation:
The Conservative Party and its legacy parties have a strong record of opposition to negotiating bulk water exports from Canada. The International Boundary Waters Treaty Act prohibits bulk removals from boundary basins. And our Government has repeatedly made clear the fact bulk water exports are not on the agenda as Prime Minister Stephen Harper hosts the North American Leaders Summit in Montebello next week.
Just because the Conservative Party and it's legacy parties (Note: Legacy parties is the worst euphemism since nice personality) have had a history, does not mean the present and future will be like the past, an example being Income Trusts. Further why refer to history? Why not just openly say the Conservative Party is against such trade? Then the website concludes such negotiations are not being held at the summit; I would think this is rather obvious as such trade issues will be between three nations, US, Canada, and Mexico, and not just two, US and Canada.

If anyone believes no negotiations on bulk water trade ever occurred between the Harper government and President Bush, could you please provide one statement from a senior Conservative that says so?


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Canadian Soldier Dies Because Of Luck?

The Globe and Mail today has an article detailing another Canadian soldier's death. The report states that Simon Longtin died as a result of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) going off near his Light Armored Vehicle (LAV). The report also includes various statements made by military officials, of particular interest is this:
Pte. Longtin, who hailed from the Montreal area, was the driver of a 2 Platoon Light Armored Vehicle, or LAV, and was simply unlucky, Charlie Company's officer commanding, Major Patrick Robichaud, said sorrowfully this morning.
I do not want to take anything away from this incident; however this troubles me. The commanding officer, the man responsible for Canadian Soldier Longtin, suggests Luck, or the absence there of, is what killed one of his men.

Major Robichaud could have been talking about the one in a million chance of going over the IED; that is the vast possibilities of routes to take, they were 'unlucky' to have taken the one that had the IED on it; however IED's are purposely created to kill our and NATO troops. The very fact that the IED was only 5 km from the base would hope to illustrate that.

If anyone I know died from a mine blast or something similar, I wouldn't call it unluck, the mine or IED was purposely placed to cause such an incident. To explain it by luck or chance takes away the murderous intent by the mine or IED maker.

I do acknowledge the term "Luck" is used to show scientific probabilities, and that is what could have been the case here, but in a life and death situation, slim probabilities should be considered, leaving all "Luck" out of the equation.

Further the Canadian Army should not believe in luck in any form. If a Canadian soldier dies because of an IED going off 5 km from base, investigations should be conducted, witnesses sought, safety parameters made, and most importantly the Canadian and NATO forces should pursue reason and not leave things to luck, so the our forces are never "Unlucky" again.