Handy Headlines for May 23 2006

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The Article

Harper has support to win majority

OTTAWA – Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government is so popular with Canadians that it would be swept back into power with a majority if an election was held now, a new poll has found.

…The Ipsos Reid survey, conducted for CanWest newspapers and Global National, was done over three days last week just as Harper’s Tories were touting their accomplishments after 100 days in office as a minority government.

…The poll found the Conservatives are enjoying their highest level of public support in nearly 20 years since Brian Mulroney’s government was returned to office with a second majority victory in the November 1988 election.

…This gives the Tories a stunning 18-point lead over their chief rival, the Liberal party, which has fallen by three percentage points and now has the support of 25 per cent of voters.

WITH A CAVEAT, OF COURSE:

…Bricker said people shouldn’t assume the Tories are so popular just because the Liberals are without a leader until they choose one in December.

…“The reality on this is that normally in these kinds of circumstances, when the opposition isn’t well defined, it’s like Stephen Harper up against Mother Teresa,’’ said Bricker.

Read the Rest Here

Caledonia Standoff Escalates After Goodwill Gesture Rejected
(As of this morning, a state of emergency still exists and there is no power)

…It looked like a sure sign of a breakthrough and a peaceful end to a long and divisive struggle.

…Just hours after native protestors in Caledonia had agreed to finally take down a barrier blocking the main road into the town, it went right back up again.

…What happened?

…Townspeople, fed up with the constant bickering over a land claim, created a roadblock of their own and refused to let many of the would-be departing protestors cross.

They were demanding the natives take down all the barriers – not just the main one on what many refer to as Highway 6.
Read the Rest Here

Caledonia clash turns violent
And Here

Native blockade near Hamilton removed, put back up; tensions high, power cut
Read the Rest Here

Peace deal collapses
Read the Rest Here

(This website is maintained by the Caledonia townspeople.)
Citizens of Caledonia

Canada’s social services policy blasted

MONTREAL (CP) – Canada’s employment insurance program leaves too many Canadians in the lurch, says a United Nations report that is equally harsh about several other areas of the country’s social policy.

…The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights says it is concerned by the low number of unemployed workers who qualify for EI benefits.

…The UN body took time to laud the country’s low unemployment rate and measures taken to resolve pay-equity issues, but its list of concerns is several times longer.

…The UN committee’s findings are particularly harsh in regards to cuts made under the previous Liberal government to federal transfer payments earmarked for social services.

…The report suggests the cuts have had a serious impact on the standard of living of many of the country’s minority groups.

Read the Rest Here

CRA to blame for $18B tax debt: tax collector

TORONTO (CP) – A tendency in the Canada Revenue Agency to choose “what’s easy” over “what’s right” is to blame for $18 billion in unpaid taxes uncovered in the auditor general’s latest report, some of its current and former employees say.

…It’s a system plagued by inefficiency, one that rewards managers with financial incentives regardless of whether debts are actually collected, a debt collector at the Toronto North tax office told The Canadian Press.

…“Once you hit the budget, all the managers receive bonuses,” said the employee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Read the Rest Here

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