Handy Headlines for May 20 2006

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The Article

Support for afghan mission stays firm
National Post poll
Mike Blanchfield, CanWest News Service
Published: Saturday, May 20, 2006

OTTAWA – Support for Canada’s troops in Afghanistan remains relatively high, according to a new poll, which shows 57% of respondents backing the mission despite an increase in casualties.

…The National Post poll, by Ipsos Reid (Subscription Required), found support up slightly from a pair of Ipsos Reid polls in March, which showed 54% and 52% approval ratings.

…The poll comes after a week that produced the country’s 17th casualty—and first female combat death—and a vote in the House of Commons that narrowly approved a Conservative proposal to extend the mission by two years. The telephone survey was conducted Tuesday to Thursday, and found respondents less supportive of the extension than of the mission as a whole.

…Support for the extension was highest in Alberta (66%) and Atlantic Canada (54%) and lowest in Quebec (27%).

…Only 48% of Saskatchewan and Manitoba residents, 47% of Ontario residents and 44% of British Columbia residents approved of the extension.

…Most Canadians who support the mission strongly backed the extension, however. Of the 57% who back the mission overall, 77% supported the extension as well.

…Overall support for the mission remained strongest in Alberta (70%) and Atlantic Canada (69%).

Read The Rest Here

Iran is capable of anything
(Editorial-Toronto Sun)

…Yesterday, the National Post reported a previously stalled bill in Iran setting out legal dress codes for Muslims and non-Muslims has been revived due to pressure from Ahmadinejad, although it has yet to be put into effect. It would require Iraq’s 25,000 Jews to wear a yellow strip of cloth, just as the Nazis forced Jews to wear yellow Stars of David. Christians would wear red badges, other minorities similar colour-coded identifiers. Muslims would wear “standard Islamic garments.”

Later reports quoted Western journalists in Iran saying no such law had been passed. Some Iranian politicians, including a Jewish legislator, said the story was wrong and an insult.

…Ahmadinejad has described the Nazi Holocaust, in which six million Jews died and 12 million innocent people in all were slaughtered, as a myth. He wants Israel “wiped off the map.” If those aren’t warning signs Iraq could one day turn on its Jews and other religious minorities the way the Nazis did, we don’t know what is. When the canary sings—listen.

Read the Rest Here

Harper leans toward rival to Kyoto
Canadian Press

…Gatineau, Que. — Prime Minister Stephen Harper gave the strongest signal yet Friday that Canada is poised to join an international climate-change forum that’s seen as a rival to the Kyoto process.

…At the same time, Mr. Harper used a visit by Australian Prime Minister John Howard to say his Conservative government is “looking carefully” at a United States proposal that would compel uranium exporting countries such as Canada to repatriate and dispose of spent nuclear fuel.

…Both developments left environmental groups aghast.

…“It in effect makes Canada an international waste dump,” said Dave Martin, Greenpeace Canada’s energy co-ordinator.

Environment Minister Rona Ambrose has been hinting for weeks that Canada is interested in the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, a six-nation group that includes Australia, China, India and the United States.

…“Australia and Canada, as the two major uranium producers in the world, have considerable interest in whatever the United States and the international community have in mind in terms of future uranium development, production and marketing,” said Mr. Harper.

…Mr. Howard was more plain-spoken.

…“We don’t approach this American proposal with antagonism,” said the Australian prime minister. “We approach it with interest.”

Read the Rest Here

Read what the The Liberal Party of Canada has to say:

“Harper to Join Howard to do Bush’s bidding: Canada is allowing AP6 to become PR exercise at Kyoto’s Expense”

Moratorium imposed on disputed land in Caledonia

CALEDONIA, Ont.—Sparks are flying after the provincial government declared a moratorium on the development of a tract of disputed land in southwestern Ontario.

…The province has sent a letter to Six Nations council confirming the ban on construction at the site in Caledonia, where aboriginal protesters have been camped out since the end of February.

…But Henco Industries, the developer of the proposed subdivision, says it was never consulted and is furious about the arrangement.

…Henco has long argued it has a title to the land, which the aboriginals claim was wrongly taken from them in the 1840s.

…A lawyer for Henco says they’re “fed up” and have no choice but to demand the province buy out the property, but he admits that could have far-reaching implications in other land claims.

Read the Rest Here

Notes From Ottawa
The National Post has a weekly roundup of Ottawa happenings.

Some excerpts:

…News this week that two male constables are planning what is believed to be the RCMP’s first same-sex marriage has made some in the government nervous.

…Some officials in Ottawa flagged the story—in particular because of the uniforms—and are worried about MPs making any homophobic comments that might reflect badly on the government. It looks like Stockwell Day, who has responsibility for the RCMP, will be the one to speak for the Conservatives on the wedding in a bid to control the message. Stephen Harper said before being elected he would hold a free vote on same-sex marriage. This will be an interesting one to watch.

..Why Did Paul Martin not attent (sic) the vote on the Afghanistan mission?

..He was in the House on Wednesday, tabling his private members bill about implementing the Kelowna Accord, then left for meetings in Toronto, said an aide in his office.

…The opposition parties’ obsessive need to deride all things American is approaching phobic proportions. Here’s a sample from just one session of Question Period:

– Bill Graham, interim Liberal leader, on Canada’s stand on Kyoto: “… we know that Republican pollsters have been coaching the government on the catchy slogans they need to sell what they call their alternative plan.”

Read the Rest Here

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