Afghan 2-year deployment approved
…A motion to extend the deployment barely passed 149 to 145 Wednesday night. The NDP, Bloc Quebecois and most Liberals, including key leadership candidates such as Stephane Dion, Ken Dryden and Joe Volpe, voted against it.
…Other leadership candidates, Michael Ignatieff and Scott Brison, voted for the longer commitment in perilous Afghanistan, as did interim Liberal leader Bill Graham.
…Former prime minister Paul Martin was absent.
…The vote is a political victory for Harper, who can characterize the result as an indication of the will of Parliament, while exposing divisions within the Liberal ranks.
…Coming out of the House, Harper took a few shots at the opposition.
…“I think the truth of the matter is support for the mission is a lot stronger than the vote,” Harper said. “There were a lot of people in there who just wanted to vote against the government. But certain Liberals took a principled position and Canada is much better for it.”
Mounties get their men—each other
The Force is with them as RCMP officers to wed
By DAN ARSENAULT Staff Reporter
METEGHAN — On a Friday night in Yarmouth this June, Const. Jason Tree and Const. David Connors will don their scarlet dress uniforms, stand before family, friends and co-workers and wed in the first same-sex marriage in the RCMP’s storied history.
…In an interview in their Meteghan home Wednesday afternoon, the men said they’ve had great support from the national police force, the community and their families.
…Provincial RCMP spokesman Sgt. Frank Skidmore said the force was happy to hear about the union, adding that they’re proud RCMP officers reflect all aspects of the community.
…“This is a first for us,” Sgt. Skidmore said Wednesday. “Certainly, the RCMP welcomes a workforce that is representative of Canadian society, and that is the case here.”
Minister quashes honour for U.S. general
Zinni critical of Bush
…The Conservative Defence Minister intervened personally to stop the Royal Military College of Canada from awarding an honorary degree tomorrow to a retired American general who has been highly critical of the Bush administration.
…Gordon O’Connor ordered officials at RMC, the Canadian Forces’ training academy for officers, not to award a doctorate in defence studies to U.S. General Anthony Zinni.
…Gen. Zinni, a former head of the United States’ Central Command, was one of six retired U.S. generals who last month publicly criticized the conduct of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and its aftermath.
…Gen. Zinni was particularly critical of Donald Rumsfeld, the U.S. Secretary of Defense, saying of his handling of Operation of Iraqi Freedom: “Ten years’ worth of planning were thrown away; troop levels dismissed out of hand. These were not tactical mistakes. These were strategic mistakes, mistakes of policy.”
The disgrace of the Morgan Six
David Asper, National Post (Editorial)
Published: Thursday, May 18, 2006
…Raymond Bonin (Liberal); Joe Volpe (Liberal); Omar Alghabra (Liberal); Caroline St. Hilaire (Bloc); Louise Thibault (Bloc); Peggy Nash (NDP).
…These six Members of Parliament like the spotlight, so let’s give them their wish. This week, they ganged up on an eminent Canadian. It was a disgusting display, led by Peggy Nash, who played the role of lead demagogic loudmouth.
…And thanks to the aforementioned six committee members, his candidacy was rejected by a 6-5 vote. Prime Minister Stephen Harper either had to ignore the vote and appoint Mr. Morgan over the committee’s objection; or he had to defer the appointment until, as he told reporters, he got a majority government.
…Mr. Harper chose the latter route, which was the correct thing to do. Sometimes, in order to effect change, a leader must exhibit patience. As these six MPs demonstrate, many politicians are afraid of change.
…Indeed, these Parliamentarians are poster-children for Mr. Harper’s reform campaign. The fact that Mr. Morgan is eminently qualified apparently carried less weight than the fact he happens to disagree with Ms. Nash on Canadian immigration policy. But that’s the way the Morgan Six play ball. At this week’s hearings, they were far less interested in hearing about accountability and transparency than Ms. Nash’s sanctimonious, politically correct piffle about Canadian values.
Farmers hail `return to sanity’
Health rules for markets shelved
Proposal sparked public outcry
…Farmers and shoppers are claiming victory after Health Minister George Smitherman suddenly backed down for now from plans to slap new health regulations on farmers’ markets and church suppers.
…The regulatory effort, detailed in yesterday’s Toronto Star, was scrapped after farmers warned the changes could force their markets out of business and readers flooded the Star’s website with criticisms.
…“What’s next?” wrote Jim Detenbeck of Mississauga. “Locking up grandma over some church sale cookies?”